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    Providence Makes Largest Investment in Whiteshell Provincial Park History

    One of Manitoba’s most ambitious streetscape redevelopments will be completed this summer at the West Hawk town site as part of the largest investment in Whiteshell Provincial Park history, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.

    The redevelopment is part of 28 new projects in the park, the minister said.  It includes more than one kilometre of repaved roadway, new parking for up to 300 cars and boat trailers, two new boat ramps to double launching capacity and ease traffic-flow, new decorative walkway lighting, more trees and benches, and large outdoor art installations inspired by the park’s natural history including a new etched beach wall.

    “Our provincial parks are some of the most affordable and most visited in the country.  They are the setting for some Manitoban’s most wonderful memories of good times with family and friends,” said Mackintosh.  “Whiteshell has more than 1.4 million visits each year and we are making these investments because I want families to be able to continue enjoying the rushing rivers, waterfalls, beaches, plentiful wildlife, outstanding trails and clear deep lakes that make up this great natural playground.”

    “When my parents opened the Nite Hawk in 1969 they could never have imagined the West Hawk town site would one day become so absolutely amazing,” said Sharon Morrison, owner, Nite Hawk Café, ranked one of Canada’s top 10 pit-stops by Maclean’s magazine.  “In the past, we saw park infrastructure that had gone to seed, but today I believe we rival anything you see elsewhere in Canada or even further abroad.  I’m proud to welcome visitors to a true gem here in Manitoba.”

    The minister said more than $16.6 million is being invested in capital projects at Whiteshell Provincial Park by 2020.  In addition to the town site redevelopment, some of this year’s investments include the refurbishment of boat launches at McDougal’s Landing, Dorothy and Star lakes, completed upgrades to West Hawk sewage lagoon, and the start of improvements to the Falcon Lake South Shore and Big Whiteshell South Shore roads.

    “With 30 designated beaches, three museums, centuries old petroforms, snowmobile trails, cross-country and downhill skiing, a renowned golf course, canoe routes and tunnels, and unparalleled in-land scuba diving opportunities, you could spend years exploring Whiteshell Provincial Park and still not experience it all,” said Mackintosh.  “The many capital investments we are making mean the park will remain one of the province’s best and ensure we continue to protect our lakes and rivers, especially Lake Winnipeg.”

    Other capital investments planned for the park include:

    • Building new modern washroom/showers at Betula, Big Whiteshell, Falcon, Brereton, and West Hawk and White lakes campgrounds;
    • Upgrading drinking water treatment at Brereton, White Lake, Opapiskaw, Caddy Lake and Big Whiteshell campgrounds;
    • Electrifying campsites at the Brereton and Nutimik campgrounds;
    • Building more yurts at the Nutimik campground;
    • Refurbishing the Falcon Lake Mall and the West Hawk Marina; and
    • Constructing a new waste-water treatment facility at West Hawk/Falcon and Brereton.

    “Our provincial parks are an integral part of life for Manitoba families and they give us all places to explore, recharge and relax,” said Mackintosh.  “These investments are part of our Building The Parks Province:  Manitoba’s Parks Strategy to invest more than $100 million in park infrastructure by 2020.  They will benefit campers, cottagers and park visitors and keep our park services sustainable into the future.”

    For information on Building The Parks Province:  Manitoba’s Parks Strategy, visit:

    www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parksstrategy/index.html.

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