The next time you drive highway 401 between Pearson International Airport and Highway 400, keep an eye out for the mileage sign for Algonquin Provincial Park. There is one, even though the park is over 250 km away. It just goes to show how well Ontario is known for its parks – visitors landing at Pearson could easily be en route to Algonquin!
Ontarians are passionate about their parks, with good reason. Protected areas are essential for our province’s biodiversity. They protect our natural and cultural heritage, and provide places for us to connect with and learn about nature, to relax, and to have fun with our loved ones.
You have the right to know about and comment on government decisions that affect the environment, including how provincial parks are run. All proposed park management plans and changes to them get posted on the Environmental Registry for public comment. The government must consider your comments when it makes decisions.
Several park management plans were posted to the Registry over the past several years, including plans for Darlington Provincial Park, Holland Landing Prairie Provincial Park, Sibbald Point Provincial Park and North Beach Provincial Park.
The government also recently made changes to how Presqu‘ile Provincial Park, on the north shore of Lake Ontario, is to be managed. The proposed changes elicited a number of strong public comments expressing concern that the government was prioritizing building infrastructure in the park at the expense of conserving nature. You can read the ECO’s review of the management plan amendment in section 1.1.4 of theSupplement to our 2014/2015 Annual Report.
If you want to be notified when proposals for park management plans and related policies are posted on the Environmental Registry, sign up for the ECO’s newEnvironmental Registry Alert Service.
To read what the ECO has written about Ontario’s parks and protected areas, visit theProtected Areas page of our online archive.