While we’re experiencing the last bit of warm weather from coast to coast, enjoying the outdoors will still be part of our routines heading into fall as Canadians continue to work together on flattening the COVID-19 curve.
Whether it’s local parks or mini road trips to campgrounds, Canada’s nature brings a number of health and wellness benefits, according to Parks Canada.
Exercising, enjoying fresh air, and going for swims are some of the perks of our great outdoors, and most are activities that can be done while physical distancing in Parks Canada locations.
And, as we continue to enjoy them, one thing is clear: we need to respect nature — now more than ever.
As more and more Canadians head out to explore our own backyards, many parks, lakes, and beaches have experienced an uptick in littering.
And so heading into the long weekend, and beyond, it is calling on all visitors, residents, businesses and agencies “to help ensure the safety of people and improve the chances of survival for wildlife by never leaving food unattended, cleaning up all garbage and throwing garbage in the bear proof bins provided.”
Besides picking up your trash, be sure to respect wildlife and nature.
“While the design of this year’s offer means that there are fewer visitors at our sites in order to provide more space for physical distancing, Parks Canada is delighted that so many Canadians have chosen to take their vacation in Canada this year and have included camping at a national park or historic site in their holiday plans,” said Parks Canada.
“Some of these visitors may be new to national parks and historic sites, so Parks Canada encourages all visitors to follow some simple guidelines to facilitate their own enjoyment and the enjoyment by others of these special places.”
Parks Canada shared with Daily Hive these six tips for heading outdoors:
- Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the Parks Canada website before they travel. “Our website provides detailed information on what locations are open, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for a visit and what services may be available,” they said.
- Ensure you have a place to stay reserved in advance. Again, plan ahead.
- Be self-sufficient by bringing your own clean-trip kit, including hand sanitizer, garbage bags, masks when recommended by health authorities, as well as table cloths if you plan to use a picnic table.
- You are responsible for your own safety. Parks Canada advises to “be cautious when engaging in activities in order to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.”
- Leave no trace when you visit outdoor spaces. Use the appropriate garbage containers or take all your garbage with you. “Visitors need to plan ahead, bring a garbage bag, and pack your garbage out with you if you plan to be in an area where a bin may not be accessible. Instances of garbage being left out or food unattended are occurring throughout the sites in public areas,” said Parks Canada.
- Be kind and patient with each other. “We are all in this together!”
For additional information on the appropriate behaviour when visiting Parks Canada places, please visit: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel.
And enjoy the great outdoors, Canada!