The number of visitors to conservation areas managed by the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority (NVCA) has grown the past few years, and especially in 2020.
More traffic also means more upkeep. The NVCA will increase user fees to conservation areas on January 1, 2021.
“The past few years, and especially in 2020, we have had exponential growth in the number of visitors to our conservation areas,” said Byron Wesson, Director of Conservation Services at NVCA. “New visitors are always welcome, as we sincerely encourage the exploration of outdoor spaces. However, this also means that there are increased maintenance and management costs to upkeep the properties.”
Many NVCA’s trails are accessible and require a high degree of attention. Hazard tree removals or maintenance have always been a key item for safety assurances. Accessible boardwalks, bridges, washrooms and interpretive signage are all part of a positive visitor experience. To better accommodate this new surge of visitor numbers the NVCA will be building new and enhancing existing parking lots.
“We are now seeing more trash being left behind, and that has to be looked after by someone,” continued Wesson. “Usually, our signage highlights the wonders of the natural world, but now it includes COVID precautions.”
NVCA’s conservation areas offer activities beyond just hiking trails. Visitors also enjoy hunting, angling, paddling and snowshoeing. Professional photography, movie shoots and weddings are also among the many other activities that occur in the conservation areas.
Daily and seasonal parking passes are only required per vehicle. Occupants of the vehicle do not need to purchase additional passes. For a list of new fees, please visit the NVCA website.
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