P.E.I. National Park hires extra surf guard for busy season
'It's great, we're really happy about all the people who are coming to visit '
Parks Canada in P.E.I. is seeing in increase in visitors on beaches and trails — something officials say they'd been expecting and planning for since last year.
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"With the Discovery Passes being available for visitors who are coming to Parks Canada sites, we've certainly been anticipating an increase in visitation and I think we can safely say that's what we've been seeing," said Janette Gallant, visitor services co-ordinator for the P.E.I. National Park.
Parking lots have been nearly full and campgrounds are close to capacity, she said.
"It's great, we're really happy about all the people who are coming to visit the national park," Gallant said.
Staffing beefed up
Parks Canada monitors the number of people on beaches, she said, to ensure they have adequate resources to manage the increase in visitors — surf guards do beach visitation counts daily.
"We know that having extra surf guards and extra time for surf guards to be at the beaches was going to be quite important," Gallant said.
Parks has added an extra surf guard at Brackley Main Beach, and extended surf guard services for an extra week at the end of the season at Stanhope Main Beach, Ross Lane, Cavendish Campground and Greenwich Main Beaches.
Heading to the National Park? Gallant suggests visitors use a new online tool called P.E.I. Now at parkscanada.gc.ca/peinow to tell them where parking is available and more helpful information including maps, rules and hours of operation.
Parks Canada also offers a free opt-in text message service that will alert subscribers to special events and activites in the PEI National Park and Green Gables Historic Site. That's available by calling (902) 200-4499.
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With files from CBC Radio: Mainstreet P.E.I.