The Ontario government recently announced that it would be opening Provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited day-use access in the upcoming week. While conservation areas were not included in this announcement, the NPCA has developed a careful and phased approach to reopening its natural areas.
The NPCA’s top priority remains the health and safety of staff and visitors. All field staff have been provided with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment and proactive measures are in place to ensure a safe environment for all. The NPCA will continue to monitor the situation as each phase is implemented.
Phase One is the reopening of properties such as Gord Harry Trail, Hedley Forest, Two Mile Creek, and E.C. Brown Conservation Areas. Permitted passive use includes walking, hiking, dog walking, birdwatching, nature photography, and cycling where appropriate.
“Over the next few weeks, staff will continue to work on our phased approach so that more activities and conservation areas become available when it is safe to do so,” says Brenda Johnson, NPCA Board Chair. “I thank our residents and communities for their patience and cooperation throughout the past few months. Responsible use of these conservation areas will allow us to safely operate these trails, ensure the safety of our staff, and work towards the next phase.”
Visitors are asked to follow these guidelines when at NPCA conservation areas:
- Practice physical distance by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other visitors
- Stay on the trails, step off only if needed to allow others to pass safely
- Do not gather or arrange to meet friends or other groups
- Keep pets on leash and clean up after them
- Do not litter
- Take trash with you when leaving the property
- Respect wildlife and plant-life
- All visitors must vacate by 8 p.m.
- Do not trespass on private properties adjacent to NPCA conservation areas
All amenties such as washrooms, children’s play areas and structures, beaches, and parking lots remain closed. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer as there are no hand-washing facilities available. Conservation areas such as Ball’s Falls, Binbrook, Chippawa Creek, and Long Beach will be considered for reopening in the future.
A detailed list of conservation areas/trails in Phase One can be found at www.npca.ca/parks.
The NPCA manages the impact of human activities, urban growth, and rural activities on the Niagara Peninsula watershed with programs and services that help keep people and their property safe from flooding and erosion, while retaining the safety of our drinking water.
NPCA manages 42 Conservation Areas, including Ball’s Falls, Binbrook, Long Beach and Chippawa Creek. These lands are held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. NPCA’s Conservation Areas marry nature, culture and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.