Celebrate With Us in 2007! 75 Years of Alberta Provincial Parks: We have many reasons to celebrate ?
On November 21, 1932 the first provincial park was established at Aspen Beach on Gull Lake. Today, some of the most remarkable landscapes and wildlife in the world are found among Alberta?s provincial parks and protected areas network.
Alberta?s first provincial parks
? With its sandy beaches and excellent swimming conditions Aspen Beach Provincial Park was recognized as early as 1905 as a destination for family vacations.
? Saskatoon Island Provincial Park was a popular berry picking location for the Cree people before European settlers came to the area. In the early 1900s, its popularity continued for picnics and celebrations and in November 1932, it became a provincial park.
? Starting out as Hudson Bay Company lands, then a popular local dance hall and convention site, Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park was also designated in 1932.
? In July 1930, when officiating at the opening of a Lethbridge area reservoir called Park Lake, Premier Brownlee promised to consider designating the lake as a provincial park. On November 21, 1932 he fulfilled his promise when Park Lake Provincial Park was established.
? Sylvan Lake was a favourite vacation destination in the early 1900s for families from Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary. Officially established as Sylvan Lake Provincial Park in 1932, for a brief period it was a municipal park before being re-established as a provincial park in 1980.
This year marks 75 years of provincial parks in Alberta.
Join us at special events all across the province.
June 2 and 3
Song Bird Festival in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park
Legislature Grounds in Edmonton – A Picnic In The Park
Parks Day will be the feature festival on July 21 when celebrations will take place in many parks.
Discover a new favourite provincial park:
Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation
Thousands of migrating songbirds, annually, are funneled through the rich boreal forest of Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park. The Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, located in the park, collects data to carry out research on the many species found in this area. A few hours at the Boreal Centre and you will be able to identify some of the different birds by their distinct calls. Plan to visit during the Song Bird Festival, this year, on June 2 and 3.
Hilliard?s Bay Provincial Park
On the western shore of Lesser Slave Lake, this northern park is located in a prime birding area. The park is a nesting area for great horned owl and great grey owl; overhead, bald eagles are a common site. In addition, the sandy beach and warm, clear water provide great swimming and sunbathing.
Whitney Lakes Provincial Park
In the northeastern region of the province, a group of small lakes surrounded by sandy beaches and mixed wood forests offer water recreation as well as hiking or mountain biking. An extensive trail system linking Ross, Whitney, Laurier and Borden lakes, follows lake shorelines and passes through forests and campgrounds, providing exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities.
Wabamun Lake Provincial Park
On the shores of Moonlight Bay, this park has water recreation, a beach and grassy picnic areas perfect for kite flying or tossing a frisbee. This large campground in a mostly aspen parkland forest is close to Edmonton, making it convenient for families who need to get away without spending hours driving.
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
If mountains are more your style, Kananaskis Country has many activities and levels of service to meet your needs. Follow Highway 40, south of the Trans-Canada Highway at Seebee, to reach Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Surrounded by amazing mountain views, you can have your pick of a variety of trails for mountain biking and hiking. Park interpreters lead guided walks by day and present educational musical theatre in park amphitheatres by night. Be sure to make a stop at the Visitor Centre to see the new exhibits on display.
Kinbrook Island Provincial Park
This tree-lined park is a welcome relief on blistering hot prairie days; many well-treed sites give shade and privacy. An interpretive trail provides visitors with the opportunity to view the area?s abundant bird species.
Little Bow Provincial Park
Located within the ?McGregor Lake and Travers Reservoir Important Bird Area? where the nationally threatened peregrine falcon has been known to nest. The large campground in the orchard-like atmosphere, along with the beauty of the reservoir and the surrounding hills, create an ideal setting. The beach is a ?cool? place to be on hot prairie days and the constant breezes of southern Alberta make these waters a haven for windsurfing and sailing.
Did you know?
? A provincial park or protected area is within an hour?s drive of every Albertan.
? Provincial parks contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment that 99 per cent of all Albertans recognize as important to overall quality of life.
? In Alberta, parks are valuable assets, attracting visitors to rural communities, creating jobs, boosting local economies, and promoting rural development.
? To commemorate this anniversary, world-renowned Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman has created four paintings depicting wildlife in provincial parks.
For trip planning information and downloadable brochures, visit our website at www.albertaparks.ca
or call for your 2007 Parks Map and Guide, toll-free 1-866-427-3582.