PEI

When Islanders can expect provincial parks, campgrounds to reopen

The province of P.E.I. revealed its plans Thursday to reopen government-run parks, campgrounds and golf courses.

'No one's job will be impacted by the changes to this season' assures minister

Only those who had already booked a seasonal site at one of P.E.I.'s provincial parks will be allowed to camp, at least for now. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

The province has revealed its plan to reopen government-run provincial parks, campgrounds and golf courses as P.E.I. cautiously eases some coronavirus restrictions. 

Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay made the announcement during a media briefing Thursday.

"A reminder that all Islanders must continue to follow the direction of the Chief Public Health Office while visiting the parks," said MacKay.

All provincial day parks will open Friday, June 5, including the mountain bike trails at Brookvale. 

The province owns three golf courses: Brudenell River Golf Course and The Links at Crowbush Cove will open Friday, May 15 and Dundarave Golf Course will open Friday, May 22. 

"All players on the course must maintain a physical distance from each other," MacKay reminded.

All provincial campgrounds will open for the season on Friday, June 26 but only for Islanders who booked their seasonal campsite before the end of March.

Parks will get improvements

MacKay said the government will take the time and space available this summer to make big upgrades and expansions at parks — camping has become very popular the last few years.

Economic Development Minister Matthew MacKay reassured provincial parks staff their jobs will not be affected, even if there's a lack of visitors. (Ken Linton/CBC)

"This will allow us to do some major infrastructure projects that's needed at our parks and campgrounds," he said. 

Cabot Beach will be expanded by 40 more serviced sites, while the province will build 30 more sites at Jacques Cartier park. Red Point, Brudenell and Linkletter parks will also get additional sites.

The province plans to upgrade and add Wi-Fi at all provincial campgrounds, and improve washrooms, roads, accessibility and more.

"I want to reassure parks staff that no one's job will be impacted by the changes to this season and we look forward to getting to work at our provincial campgrounds very soon," he said.

Playgrounds at all of these location will remain closed, however, until public health officials allow them to reopen. 

MacKay added the province has mailed out refunds this week to tourism operators for things like licensing, marketing and inspections.

More from CBC P.E.I.

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