New trail structure offers enhanced ecological integrity and improved visitor experience
MARATHON, ON, June 30, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Parks Canada is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of natural and cultural heritage, and sharing the stories of these treasured places. The Government of Canada is investing in national parks across the country to enhance ecological integrity, support sustainable tourism, and create jobs in our local communities.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North, on behalf of the Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, highlighted the completion of a $540,000 federal investment to improve the Hattie Cove Wetland Walkway. Connecting visitors to the popular Suspension Bridge Trail and Coastal Hiking Trail in Pukaskwa National Park, the walkway was officially reopened this month with a blessing and sharing of stories on the significance of the site by Donald Michano, a Biigtigong Knowledge Keeper, Chief Duncan Michano of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Parks Canada team members.
Through the federal infrastructure investment program, Parks Canada completed a full replacement of an old boardwalk with a new, more sustainable structure in the Hattie Cove Wetland. Countless visitors have enjoyed walking on the boardwalk through this special habitat while hiking the Coastal Hiking Trail. Water levels in the marsh vary with changing Lake Superior levels and natural processes, resulting in ongoing challenges for maintaining a safe and dry walkway for visitors.
The new pre-fabricated floating walkway is able to move up and down with the changing water levels that occur with changing beaver activity in the wetland. This will allow visitors to keep their feet dry and avoid slips, while allowing beavers to naturally maintain this important wetland. Collectively, the replacement of this trail structure will enhance visitor experience, ensure ecological integrity is maintained and reduce maintenance requirements.
Canada's national parks are a refuge for both wildlife and people. Investing in these locations helps support the health of our natural heritage and creates jobs in our local communities, while providing visitors with high-quality and meaningful experiences across the country.
"Preserving natural environments is important for the health of our region and contributes to the joy we all feel when we think about Northern Ontario. The newly replaced walkway in Hattie Cove Wetland will allow visitors a way to safely and comfortably enjoy this unique habitat, while protecting the wetland. Well maintained, accessible national parks mean we have more to offer as our region grows our tourism sector. With investments like this, Parks Canada can better share with all Canadians the beauty and natural wonder of Pukaskwa National Park."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North
"The new marshland walkway will give the visitors and local residents from Biigtigong and Marathon the opportunity to observe and enjoy the abundant and diverse wildlife that thrives in these types of wetlands."
Chief, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg
Spanning over 1,878 km2 on Lake Superior's remote northern coast, Pukaskwa National Park is a captivating wilderness that weaves untouched nature with the long history of the Anishinaabe people.
Pukaskwa National Park is Ontario's only wilderness national park, defined by pink-and-slate granite shores and near endless stretches of spruce, fir, pine, and hardwoods. The biodiverse coastal regions – where wetland, lake, and forest meet – are home to many iconic Canadian species and species at risk.
The Government of Canada is investing over $11 million dollars to support infrastructure work in Pukaskwa National Park and close to $27 million for national parks and national historic sites throughout Northern Ontario, as part of the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada.
SOURCE Parks Canada
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