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Wednesday, 18 July 2012 07:51

Parks Day activities in Elkwater July 21

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Elkwater has hosted some enjoyable Alberta Parks Days in the past. Elkwater has hosted some enjoyable Alberta Parks Days in the past. File photo

There will be a lot of opportunities for residents to head to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park-Alberta this weekend to celebrate national Parks Day.

“It’s the same reason why birthdays are recognized,” says Peter Swain, district manager for Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Alberta, about the third Saturday in July recognized as Parks Day. “It’s an appreciation for what we have and a great day to enjoy a park, appreciate parks and what they stand for.”
Swain adds Parks Day provides an opportunity for people to celebrate together recreation and enjoying the outdoors.
There are some new areas in the Alberta side of the park to check out. Upgrades have been made to the Fire Rock day use area at the west end of the lake including a new beach area and playground equipment for children. A new dual dock will also be in use to support non-motorized boat users — including the dragon boats used in the dragon boat festival — as well as for the regular learn to fish program offered in Elkwater.
“We want to encourage people to go out and fish off that dock,” adds Swain.
Visitors will be able to watch dragon boat racers practising their skills on Saturday before the official Pace Rotary Dragon Boat Festival gets underway on Sunday.
There are also a few other activities planned during Saturday. From 10-11:30 a.m., “Look See Paint” will be offered  at the visitor centre. Individuals can take part in a nature-based painting program using watercolours.
A forest fire demonstration will take place at 1 p.m. at the East End day use area. Cypress Hills forestry crew members will demonstrate how they use their equipment to fight wildfires.
At 2 p.m. visitors can head to the visitor centre to take part in the GPS/Geocaching program until 3:30 p.m.
Starting at 2:30 p.m. visitors can learn more about the forest with Fantastic Forests - Animal, birds, insects and trees. Also starting at the visitor centre, this program wraps up by 4:30 p.m.
In the evening from 7-10 p.m., a wildlife bus tour will leave from the Visitor Centre. Those taking the tour will explore the diverse habitats of the area and can take photographs of what they observe.
The day finishes off with a fireworks display that can be seen from the beach by the marina starting at 10:30 p.m. thanks to the Elkwater Community Association.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor