The Manitoba government is spending $16.6 million on a number of projects and improvements at provincial parks.
Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced the funding Friday, which includes $100,000 to expand the number of beaches where mobility mats will provide accessible connections to the water.
“Whether they involve new water treatment equipment, upgraded playground amenities or additional features that make our beaches more accessible, these improvements will serve Manitobans for years to come,” Guillemard said.
The accessibility mats will be put into use next summer for Pioneer Bay Beach at Clearwater Lake Provincial Park, Falcon Lake Beach at Whiteshell Provincial Park, West Beach at Grand Beach Provincial Park, Kiche Manitou Beach at Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park, Lundar Beach Provincial Park and Rainbow Beach Provincial Park.
Water treatment plants will receive funding in the following areas: Grand Beach ($900,000) and Asessippi ($100,000) provincial parks, a sewage treatment facility upgrade at Grand Beach Provincial Park will receive $3.4 million and a new truck-haul sewage treatment lagoon at Whiteshell Provincial Park will get $4.2 million.
Funding will also be shared on the following projects:
• Whiteshell waste management initiative ($650,000)
• Big Whiteshell water treatment plant ($950,000)
• Big Whiteshell campground office relocation and accessibility improvements ($200,000)
• Falcon Lake Provincial Park south shore road improvements ($3.1 million)
• Birds Hill Provincial Park campground water treatment plant ($400,000)
• Winnipeg Beach seawall lighting upgrades to high-efficiency LED ($325,000)
• Grand Beach waste transfer station to improve recycling handling ($160,000)
• Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park water treatment plant ($760,000)
• Hecla wastewater treatment plant upgrades ($210,000)
• Nopiming/Bird Lake waste transfer station with an improved lagoon chute and recycling handling ($200,000)
• Paint Lake water treatment plant intake upgrade ($581,000)
Existing improvements include approximately $425,000 on playground structures for the Gyles (Grass River Provincial Park), Brereton (Whiteshell Provincial Park) and Adam Lake (Turtle Mountain Provincial Park) campgrounds, as well as for Gull Harbour Beach at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park, Moose Lake Provincial Park and a community centre at Grand Beach Provincial Park.
Cottage fees on the rise
The province also announced it is engaging with provincial park cottage owners to develop new cottage fee models, signaling an end to a moratorium that has frozen fees since 2016. Cottage lease and service fees will increase by two percent per year over the next three years, until new models are implemented. This will add about $25 to the average cottage owner’s annual bill, beginning in 2021.