South­west parks im­prov­ing

The Southwest Booster - - LEISURE GUIDE -

Na­tional and Re­gional Parks in the South­west are re­ceiv­ing a boost thanks to fund­ing from the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments.

A pair of projects at the Grass­lands Na­tional Park have re­ceived $835,000 in fund­ing from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

A $425,000 in­vest­ment will be made at the McGowan Homestead camp­ing grounds and horse ac­cess, along with a $410,000 in­vest­ment in the Belza Homestead camp­ing grounds and trails. The two projects, in­tended pri­mar­ily to im­prove camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties at the fledg­ling Na­tional Park, are be­ing funded through Canada’s Eco­nomic Action Plan.

The larger of the two projects will be at the McGowan Homestead in the East Block of the park. Plans are to de­velop day use and camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties, plus add horse ac­cess at that lo­ca­tion.

Camp­ing, day use fa­cil­i­ties and trails will be de­vel­oped as part of the im­prove­ments be­ing added at the Belza Homestead in the West Block. This project will of­fer the first full-use overnight and day use area within the West Block. This ad­di­tion is in­tended to de­velop Canada’s only ‘prairie’ park as a des­ti­na­tion for vis­i­tors.

“Grass­lands Na­tional Park is an im­por­tant tourist at­trac­tion in South­west Saskatchewan,” Cy­press Hill­sGrass­lands MP David An­der­son stated when the fund­ing was an­nounced last month. “This in­vest­ment will en­sure that Grass­lands will im­prove its abil­ity to at­tract vis­i­tors in the years to come.”

The Saskatchewan Land­ing Pro­vin­cial Park will ben­e­fit from fund­ing to elec­trify an­other 74 camp sites this year.

The up­grades to the camp­sites are a part of a $5.2 mil­lion fund­ing boost for cap­i­tal projects and other im­prove­ments in 2009-10.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment plans to re­new in­fra­struc­ture within pro­vin­cial parks in­clud­ing re­plac­ing or ren­o­vat­ing ser­vice cen­tres (wash­room/shower fa­cil­i­ties), boat launches, pic­nic shelters, park en­try and camp­ground kiosks, and pic­nic ta­bles and bar­be­cues over the next few years.

Re­gional parks are also re­ceiv­ing an in­crease in fund­ing of $415,000 to as­sist them with their out­door recre­ational ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties.

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