Park It this Summer
Join thousands in celebrating Canada's Parks & Historic Sites for Parks Day 2008
The warm mineral springs of Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff National Park, Alberta. Photo: K. Dahlin, © Parks Canada, 2002. -- Click to enlarge
On July 19, 2008, thousands of people across the country will take part in some of the more than 300 events held in recognition of Canada's Parks Day. Parks Canada and its provincial counterparts will host events in national, provincial and territorial parks and historic sites nationwide to celebrate Canada's natural and historical wealth.
The annual celebration is a great time to kick off your summer vacation. So instead of jet-setting off to your usual beach or theme park vacation this summer, why not park it -- your holiday travel that is -- and consider the extensive list of things to do at one of Canada's many parks and historic sites. Here's just a sampling of what you can do to celebrate Parks Day 2008:
- Take a self-guided urban walking tour in Toronto to explore and discover Canada's national heritage tucked within the urban fabric of some of the city's trendiest and most dynamic neighbourhoods. Discover a beloved bohemian neighbourhood, a vaudeville theatre saved from neglect and even the birthplace of the city.
- Join a photography-inspired tour of the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff National Park, Alberta. Established in 1885 as Canada's first national park, Banff is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Before you visit Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Nova Scotia, make your own old fashioned tin can telephone at home -- they really work!
- Enjoy the beauty of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve while you have a picnic at Winter Cove on Saturna Island, Sidney Spit on Sidney Island or Roesland on North Pender Island in British Columbia.
- Cycle through time on a bike tour to discover the rich heritage of Montreal's Lachine Canal National Historic Site.
You can enjoy experiences such as these at Canada's National Parks and National Historic Sites throughout the summer. Many national parks and national historic sites are open year round.
Canada's Parks Day is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of parks and historic sites from sea to sea to sea. If there isn't a national park or historic site near you, why not explore a provincial or territorial park or historic site that's just around the corner. Here are some opportunities -- perhaps even in your own backyard -- that are available:
Kite flying in front of the museum at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Photo: D. Wilson, © Parks Canada, 2003. -- Click to enlarge
- Kids aged 4-12 years old can enter the Colour Your Parks art contest and youth aged 11-18 years old can enter a podcast contest. Both events are hosted by BC Parks.
- Learn to kayak at Greig Lake Beach located in Saskatchewan's Meadow Lake Provincial Park.
- Listen to howling wolves as you embark on a Moonlight Tour of Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park.
- Take bannock baking lessons in Nunavut's Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park.
You'll find additional activities including campfire storytelling, lumberjack demonstrations, sandcastle competitions, wildflower walks and bug safaris at sites from Vancouver Island in the West, to Baffin Island in the North, and Newfoundland and Labrador in the East. Visit the Canada's Parks Day website for a full listing of these and other events.
Whether it's a day-long self-guided walking tour, an afternoon bike ride or a weeklong camping adventure, a memorable experience awaits you.
Parks Canada and other provincial agencies work to ensure Canada's cultural and natural heritage are presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future. For more information, visit Parks Canada online.
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