Making it Better: Upgrades at Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park recently finalized federal infrastructure upgrades for the benefit of bison and visitors.

In managing national parks, Parks Canada is mandated to maintain or restore ecological integrity and provide Canadians with opportunities to discover and enjoy them. With that in mind, several federal infrastructure investment projects were completed in Elk Island National Park. Learn more about these important upgrades and get excited about exploring this ecological jewel that is a key part of the Beaver Hills Biosphere.

Considered the centre of bison conservation in Canada, key infrastructure investments over the last three years within Elk Island National Park included the repair and replacement of the park’s perimeter fencing, and upgrades to several visitor facilities.

“These major infrastructure investments were focused on ensuring the ongoing protection of bison within park limits, and ensuring safe, high-quality visitor experiences,” shares Janelle Verbruggen, Partnering, Engagement & Communications Officer with Elk Island National Park.

In addition to the fencing upgrades, the Astotin Recreation Area received new washroom facilities, and the Astotin theatre, along with the Astotin Campground registration and information kiosk, were all upgraded. The South Gate kiosk was replaced and a second kiosk was added to process entries more efficiently at the South Gate, and the water and wastewater infrastructure in the park was upgraded to current standards. Wherever possible, these projects focused on and incorporated accessibility and green building principles.

Continued investments in visitor infrastructure, such as trails, visitor centres and campgrounds, as well as highways, parkways and bridges, ensure a quality visitor experience when Canadians are connecting with nature in the park.

“As another successful summer season wraps up and the 2019 fall season kicks-off, it is exciting to have these new and enhanced facilities for visitors,’ says Janelle.

Explore for yourself

To learn more about Elk Island National Park including available activities, including stargazing, camping and hiking in the park.

To learn more about the brand new visitor centre at the park that was unveiled in the summer of 2019 as part of the federal infrastructure upgrades, read a previous article here and start planning your next visit.