Northern provincial parks getting an upgrade before 2020

(Bailey Sutherland/Herald file photo)

Bailey Sutherland, Daily Herald

Provincial parks are important locations in Saskatchewan. They attract visitors and bring economic benefits to the province, as well as provide popular holiday destinations for residents. Investments will be made to ensure the parks continue to live up to visitor standards.

The Government of Saskatchewan will be investing more than $3.3 million for facility and infrastructure improvements in northern provincial parks in 2019 and 2020.  An investment of $11 million will also be made across Saskatchewan’s provincial parks system in 2020.

“The parks in northern Saskatchewan are hidden gems, each offering a unique experience that one may not expect on the prairies,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said in a press release.  “Enhancements to these parks, including a new visitor reception centre, campground infrastructure upgrades and trail development are necessary to continue attracting visitors to our province and providing a place for our residents to enjoy their vacation time.”

Along with ongoing upgrades to washrooms, docks, day-use facilities and signage, upgrades scheduled for completion prior to the 2020 camping season in northern Saskatchewan include:

• Construction of a new visitor reception centre at Candle Lake Provincial Park

• Completion of the water system upgrade at The Battlefords Provincial Park

• Electrical service expansion at Matheson Campground in Meadow Lake Provincial Park

• Major upgrade and expansion to the sewage lagoon at Lac La Ronge Provincial Park

From 2007-08 to 2018-19, capital investment in parks reached a total value of more than $116 million.  Improvements planned for 2019-20 will further increase the total investment to more than $127 million since 2007.  Throughout 2018, Saskatchewan Provincial Parks saw nearly 4 million visits.

Upgrades that began in 2018-19 and are now complete in northern Saskatchewan include:

• Two new service centres, a boat launch, road improvements and electrical upgrades in Meadow Lake Provincial Park

• The first phase of water system upgrades at The Battlefords Provincial Park

• A new equipment storage facility at Narrow Hills Provincial Park

• Major waste water system upgrades at Greenwater Provincial Park