Parks Canada

Parks Canada

May 20, 2010 14:30 ET

Government of Canada Investing in Health of Local National Park

Public invited to get involved in Waterton Lakes National Park project

LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced a Parks Canada project to restore terrestrial ecosystems in Waterton Lakes National Park.

"This project is an excellent example of the integration of conservation, visitor experience and educational programs," said Minister Prentice. "This unified approach will go a long way toward ensuring the ecological health of Waterton Lakes National Park for generations to come."

The investment, totalling $7 million, focuses on conservation. Two key initiatives are the restoration of native fescue grasslands and the restoration of whitebark and limber pine communities. To help meet these objectives, research partnerships have been established with local universities, totaling $445,000 in four separate agreements.

Visitor experience and educational programs are in place to promote public involvement and support for the park's restoration activities and education on the importance of protecting native species and natural processes. Citizen Science programs will engage residents, school groups and others in the active management of restoration, and new experiences are planned for park visitors which include theatre programs, camping opportunities and guided walks in burn areas.

"I am delighted to see this Action on the Ground project rallying public support for Waterton Lakes National Park," said Minister Prentice. "Protecting the environment and species at risk is our shared responsibility. This is exactly the type of project that yields long-lasting results and has the potential to influence visitors and inspire them to reflect on their actions and their impact of the environment."

"Together with Glacier National Park in Montana, Waterton Lakes was established as the world's first international peace park in 1932 and was further recognized as a World Heritage Site," said Rick Casson, Member of Parliament for Lethbridge. "This is an incredible location that holds a special place in the hearts of many Canadians and visitors from around the world and I'm delighted about this investment that will help ensure the long-term conservation of the park's wildlife."

Today's announcement is part of Parks Canada's Action on the Ground Program, a nation-wide initiative where real and tangible actions are taken on the ground that engage Canadians in a range of conservation activities that promote the ecological integrity of Canada's national parks.

For additional information on the project, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

http://twitter.com/jimprentice

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    or
    Parks Canada
    Waterton Lakes Field Unit
    Dave McDonough
    Field Unit Superintendent
    403-859-5112