Parks Canada

Parks Canada

September 09, 2010 14:00 ET

New Recreational Activities in National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Marine Conservation Areas

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2010) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced a new national policy direction concerning recreational activities in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.

"Canada's national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas are unique and treasured protected areas that offer inspiring natural surroundings to participate in a wide array of outdoor activities," said Minister Prentice. "We remain committed to ensuring that the new activities proposed in our national protected areas are offered in ways that encourage Canadians to experience their national heritage places in a manner that respects important natural and cultural resources and ensure their ongoing protection so that they can be experienced by generations of Canadians to come."

Offering visitors a variety of opportunities to experience national protected heritage places through recreational activities is one way that the Parks Canada Agency is bringing its mandate of protection, education and experience to life.

Over the past two years, five activities have been assessed at the national level with the collaboration of various stakeholder groups. The following activities could soon become part of the menu of activities offered in national parks, national historic sites or national marine conservation areas:

  • mountain biking,
  • traction kiting (kite-surfing, kite-boarding),
  • guided interpreted tours including canopy walks, zip lines, via ferrata, and elements of aerial parks,
  • community gardening and
  • hang gliding and paragliding.

"Parks Canada is continually evaluating new activities that might offer visitors outstanding experiences to connect with their heritage," added Minister Prentice. "The new activities assessed are just a few examples of the innovative approaches envisioned by Parks Canada and its partners to better respond to the needs and demands of our current and future visitors."

Now that Parks Canada has developed national guidelines to help promote activities which encourage Canadians to experience and form connections to their national heritage places, individual national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas may conduct local assessments to determine if these activities can be offered in a specific park or site.

For more information and to consult the national guidelines for these activities, please visit us online at

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.

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