COMMENTS: Unfortunately, I do not have any information to share as NB Parks does not have guidelines for wildlife viewing. I would be interested though on what others have as this may be a subject that we can explore further within our own jurisdiction.
Original Email: Hi Dawn I have a question for the CPC for which I am requesting your assistance to disseminate among the eminent membership: Do you have guidelines for wildlife viewing in your parks, and if so, can you share these guidelines with me please. Cheers Richard
COMMENTS: Hi Richard, Re: Guidelines for Wildlife Viewing in Yukon Parks There are no wildlife viewing guidelines specific to territorial parks, but Yukon Parks partners with Yukon Government’s (YG) Wildlife Viewing Unit and other departments to develop, promote and manage wildlife viewing and nature appreciation in Yukon, based on Yukon’s Wildlife Viewing Strategy (updated 2013). I represent Yukon Parks interests (territorial parks, campgrounds, recreation sites, heritage rivers, Leave No Trace) on YG’s Wildlife Viewing Technical Committee. Key documents include: 1. Yukon’s Wildlife: A Strategy for Developing and Promoting Wildlife Viewing Opportunities (2013)… see also stakeholder newsletter Yukon Parks messaging promotes Yukon-specific LNT principles and WV tips and etiquette found here: 2. website: http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/animals-habitat/tips.php 3. Yukon’s Wildlife Viewing Guide (Eng, Fr, Ger) and 4. Into the Yukon Wilderness: What you need to know for traveling safely and gently through the Yukon Wilderness (Eng, Fr, Ger, Jap) 5. Territorial park management plans include some guidance wildlife viewing as recreation activity. In particular, for Ni’iinlii Njik (Fishing Branch) Territorial Park bear viewing partnership between Yukon Parks, Vuntut Gwich’in Corporation and a commercial venture. Links to park and bear viewing risk management plan at page bottom. We have not developed a set of safe viewing distances, as in some other jurisdictions.
Response Rate: 3/13 for 23%
Responding jurisdictions did not have Wildlife Viewing Policies specifically for parks
Future Questions to Ask:
Should parks have their own Wildlife Viewing Policies? Would it be possible to have a standard set of policies to apply to all jurisdictions?
COMMENTS: Original Email (CPC Request): Saskatchewan’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Parks has requested our assistance in providing examples of job descriptions for Directors (or Executive Director) Positions for Visitor Services/Visitor Experience. Many FPT park agencies have positions with similar titles, and it would be greatly appreciated if you could share a job description with Ms. MacDougall <firstname.lastname@example.org> and myself as soon as possible.
COMMENTS: there’s nothing like that in Alberta. Congratulations on what could be a Canadian first! – Scott Jones arguably we have one site established due to orchids – Garner Orchid Fen, but not specifically for a lichen. Of course, ACIMS does track rare lichens, and we do have a number of PAs that have some. – Lorna Allen
COMMENTS: In 1981, Parc national des Grands-Jardins was created in order to protect a Spruce lichen and a herd of caribou. Here’s a link to the parks’website. http://www.sepaq.com/pq/grj/decouvrir/index.dot?language_id=1 “Le parc national des Grands-Jardins protège un échantillon représentatif de la région naturelle du massif des Laurentides du nord de Québec. Il protège également un site à caractère exceptionnel constitué de pessières à cladonie, un échantillon de taïga singulier pour le sud du Québec. Le toponyme de « Grands-Jardins » fait d’ailleurs référence à ces paysages de taïga. Cette végétation particulière et fragile est l’habitat d’une espèce menacée : le caribou écotype forestier. ” A herd of woodland caribou and spruce lichen, unusual at our latitude, is the reason Parc national des Grands-Jardins exists.
COMMENTS: There are no provincial parks or reserves in Newfoundland and Labrador to date that have been established exclusively for the protection of rare lichen species. We have an area identified for habitat protection for rare lichens but not established so far.
COMMENTS: Original Email: I have an odd question that maybe you can help me with? I am wondering if there has ever been a protected area in Canada established because of the rare lichens that occur there? Nova Scotia is about to establish 4 new nature reserves because of the rare and endangered lichens they contain. I am thinking that this might be a first for Canada? I would like to publish this in a couple of botany journals but I want to make sure this is the case. Any help in tracking this down would be appreciated.
COMMENTS: There were a few Protected Natural Areas that were designated last year, at least in part, to protect lichen. One of these (Ovenhead PNA) was an undeveloped park reserve on the Bay of Fundy, that was designated as a PNA due to the presence of a coastal cedar stand, which is an uncommon forest community for that region, and two uncommon lichen species (Bacidia arceutina and Megalospora porphyritis). The significance of the Megalospora porphyritis occurrence in this location was that fruiting bodies were observed, while this species is rarely fertile in New Brunswick. Also, Pocologan PNA was mainly designated due to the presence of the Ghost Antler Lichen. Clark Point PNA has the Cyanolichen Pannaria lurida (which was a candidate for a COSEWIC status report at the time of the PNA designation).
GOVERNMENT OF NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
Response Rate: 5/13 for 38%
While rare, Protected Areas that were designated due to the rare lichen that occurs there do exist in some jurisdictions
Future Questions to Ask:
What other natural areas could seek designation to protect rare lichen?
COMMENTS: This speaks to the diversity of the system that we have in Canadian parks….same but different. In the Saskatchewan Park System our stores, boat rental, fixed roof accommodation and some small campgrounds are operated by third parties under a Commercial Lease Agreement. We have no “park stores” operated by the ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport. I will see what I can do to obtain a standard lease for you…The leases are about the business side and do not reference ecological integrity. Those benchmark targets are harder to establish. The operational standards we are working off of are the similarly aged document that you provided in your email. L We have had a couple of attempts to improve the situation but nothing that we could call “Revised May 1992”
COMMENTS: Original Email Request: I have taken on a special assignment for Ontario Parks to review, update and modernize our 1992 Minimum Operating Standards. I would like to carry out a jurisdictional scan of members of the Canadian Parks Council to determine if any similar documents exist or if any type of operating standards have been developed that guide park operations. I am hoping you can send this request out to CPC members to pass along to appropriate staff to reply to this request. I have attached our current document, Minimum Operating Standards 1992, and in addition to the categories covered in it, I am interested in operating/service standards that other organisations may have for other items such as operating park stores, operating roofed accommodations, renting equipment and/or facilities, backcountry management, and incorporating Ecological Integrity into daily park operations, to name a few.
COMMENTS: I can confirm that NB does have written standards for a whole series of items, which have been accumulated over a fairly lengthy period of time spanning the admin and control of more than one department. Due to the sheer volume, it would be difficult to transmit everything to you, so maybe as an alternative it might be more effective at least initially if you reach out to us by phone so that we can better accommodate your request. The person who is most familiar with the documentation is Josh Tompkins and I have made him aware of your request, so please feel free to contact Josh at your convenience.
Based on a relatively low response rate, Minimum Operating Standards and how they are documented seem to vary wildly across jurisdictions, from no MOPs to multiple documents outlining various sector MOPs.
Future Questions to Ask:
Should all jurisdictions have Minimum Operating Standards on certain services/operations?
Is it possible to standardize Minimum Operating Standards for certain services/operations across jurisdictions?
Would providing a standardized set of Minimum Operating Standards for certain services/operations have any benefits to jurisdictions?
Links to Resources:
British Columbia Sign Standards (pdf sizes too large for CPC website, contact B.C Parks)
British Columbia Park Facility Standards (pdf sizes too large for CPC website, contact B.C Parks)
COMMENTS: BC Parks looked very closed at the “Learn to Camp” Program for provincial parks in the lower mainland around Vancouver British Columbia. We received great information and support from Ontario Parks and also had direct communication with Coleman as a project sponsor. Unfortunately, given our private sector park operator model along with funding limitations, we had to make the difficult decision that we could not support an financial afford such a labour intensive program at this time. If BC Parks becomes more financially sustainable in the future, or if we could find a sponsor willing to cover the full costs in operating a Learn to Camp program, we would gladly revisit our decision. Would you be interested in working with Parks Canada to develop a national network? N/A
COMMENTS: As I am sure you know Ontario Parks has had a Learn to Camp program for a number of years now and have plans to continue the program. Would you be interested in working with Parks Canada to develop a national network? N/A
COMMENTS: Vous trouverez ci-joint le lien vers la page du site du parc national d’Oka où nous offrons le programme d’Initiation au camping. (Link in resources below) Would you be interested in working with Parks Canada to develop a national network? Il est prématuré pour nous de confirmer si nous sommes intéressés par un partenariat national mais nous sommes très intéressés à en savoir davantage sur le programme national qui est en préparation
COMMENTS: Nova Scotia Provincial Parks operated a Learn 2 Camp weekend workshop in 2013 and in 2014. The 2015 event was cancelled because of low registration. It was scheduled for a park on the southern tip of the province and it would appear that the bulk of interest comes from the Halifax area. Potential participants seem to prefer a location no more than 1 to 1.5 hrs away from Halifax. We’re currently reviewing what form L2C might take in 2015. We’re also considering some sort of program targeting a certain grade level of students at NS schools. Would you be interested in working with Parks Canada to develop a national network? I would say that we are certainly open to keeping in touch about program offerings and perhaps partnership as well.
COMMENTS: We have done some planning for a Learn to Camp event over the past several years. We participated in a Parks Canada initiative locally in 2011. We see options to enable and enhance a Learn to Camp/Hike/Fish program, possibly even for the 2016 camping season. For example, something could be done in connection with Parks Day for new Canadians and youth. Would you be interested in working with Parks Canada to develop a national network? There seems to be good opportunities to collaborate with Parks Canada.
COMMENTS: Does your park system define a disabled person? BC Parks defers to definitions (qualification criteria) established by other provincial Ministries responsible for designating persons with disabilities. Please provide the definition of a disabled person. Park Act, BC Parks Recreation User Fees Regulation s.10 provides exemption from frontcountry camping fees for park visitors who produce ‘approved’ evidence of receiving disability assistance. Since 2002, BC Parks’ policy has relied on eligibility processes established by selected provincial and federal ministries responsible for persons with disabilities. In order to receive fee exemption, campers who qualify under these programs must provide to park operators proof of receiving disability assistance issued by these authorities. Park visitors who currently qualify for the camping fee exemption are: Adults designated by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI) as “persons with disabilities” (PWD) and currently receiving disability benefits from the Ministry’s Employment and Assistance Program. Personal earnings and assets are regularly evaluated by MSDSI as part of this eligibility process. Children registered with and receiving benefits from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD)’s “At Home Program.” Family earnings and assets are not assessed by MCFD in determining a child’s eligibility for this program. Persons living on-reserve and receiving disability benefits from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Personal earnings and assets are evaluated by AANDC as part of this eligibility process. Park visitors with disabilities must provide to park operators one of the following approved forms each time they camp: An original signed current calendar year Release of Personal Information (RPI) form from MSDSI,An original signed Letter of Eligibility from MCFD,An original signed current calendar year form or letter from AANDC, and a second piece of identification. Do you offer a reduced fee for someone who has a disability? Qualified park visitors with disabilities who produce the necessary documentation (above) can camp for free in a frontcountry campsite. Any extra fees for firewood, electrical surcharges, reservation fees, etc. apply. This fee exemption does not apply to backcountry, group or marine camping. Park visitors must comply with all Park Act regulations, e.g., as long as their camping party meets the ‘party size’ (up to 8 people, no more than 4 adults, 1 RV etc.) as defined in regulation, their entire party is exempt from paying the 1 camping fee, their stay must not exceed 14 days (in a 1 park) etc. What type of identification do you ask for from the person with a disability? Proof must be provided to them by the applicable (disability) Ministry and park visitors arriving to the campground must show park operators this document each time they camp ( + a second piece of personal id). See above.
COMMENTS: Does your park system define a disabled person? If so is the disabled person defined in a regulation or in policy? Please provide the definition of a disabled person. We explicitly mention physical and mental disabilities in the inclusion plan. It builds on the Alberta Human Rights Act and recognizes the “inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all persons […] without regard to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.” The inclusion plan builds on the Alberta Human Rights Act through a commitment in Alberta’s Plan for Parks to “increase opportunities for, and invite full participation of, all Albertans.” Otherwise, in practice, we have three approaches: Use of disabled access campsites is limited to those who can present a disabled vehicle Placard. (Link in resources below) William Watson Lodge offers barrier-free fixed-roof accommodation, camping, and comfort camping uses a three-tier system based on competing an eligibility form, and then assessed by lodge staff. They generally err to the side of inclusion. Reservation Priorities For persons with disabilities residing in the province of Alberta Reservations may be made up to 4 months in advance for severely disabled Albertans (nonambulatory, legally blind, profoundly deaf, dependently cognitively disabled). For example, to book for the month of July, call on the first working day in April. Reservations may be made up to 3 months in advance for less severely disabled Albertans (semi-ambulatory, medically fragile). Please complete the eligibility form available from the Lodge. For Alberta seniors (65 years and older) Reservations may be made up to 2 months in advance, space permitting. Finally, Peaceful Valley Day Lodge offers an accessible group day use experience for “elderly, physically challenged, and terminally ill visitors.” These are assessed by the reservation agent in Alberta Culture. As far as I know, actual use is pretty much limited to seniors’ homes. Do you offer a reduced fee for someone who has a disability? Only at William Watson Lodge, based in the criteria mentioned above. Rates are subsidized $30-$40 per night for an entire cabin/4 people, or $16/night for camping (vs. $26 in other similar campgrounds). I believe use of Peaceful Valley is free, though I think they accept donations. The Alberta Parks Inclusion Plan recommends introducing fee reductions for Albertans who are on the AISH program (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped). This could allow for more than just camping breaks, like bus tour, ski day-use fee, or guided program discounts, and would operate similarly to the Cultural Access Pass. The plan also calls for an exploration of pay-what-you-can fees in certain circumstances. What type of identification do you ask for from the person with a disability? Disabled placard or completed self-identification eligibility form at William Watson Lodge. 1. Does Ontario Parks want to continue to provide special consideration for persons with disabilities? Its a good question, and an opportunity to foster inclusion, but if someone can afford to camp in the first place the discounted fee probably won’t make enough of a difference to truly remove a barrier. Maybe you should charge the same, but invest a portion of the fee collected from all people with disabilities into a program to create more barrier-free opportunities, including day use sites. Overall, the discount is not usually the important thing – the accessible experience is. 1. What criteria will Ontario Parks consider to be an eligible disability? If you have a program similar to AISH, it’s at least tied to income. That might be a good mechanism. Maybe even give camping vouchers or a cultural access pass type card to people in that program. Income level is used by the city of Calgary and city of Edmonton parks and recreation to provide fee assistance. 2. What acceptable documentation is needed to prove a disability? The vehicle placards and the CNIB cards are a good start, but the challenge with both is that they don’t connect to actual income barriers. You could create a fee assistance program where people apply similar to William Watson lodge, but it’s administratively time consuming. In general, though, self-identification is probably good enough. Not a lot of people want to pretend to be disabled and publicly use sites with disabled placards. And those that do are usually easy to identify and then work with to find an alternative approach. 3. What special consideration in the form of reduced fees, rebates,alternative licences etc. should Ontario Parks provide for eligiblepersons with a disability? The most important question is: why are you considering these breaks in the first place? Is the cost the barrier? Or is the set of stairs on to the dock the problem? Are people excluded because they can’t see? Or because they don’t feel welcome? Do people need access to tents and stoves, rather than simply fee breaks? Is the best way to include persons with disabilities camping at all? Maybe day use or fishing – or internships and employment opportunities – are better…
COMMENTS: The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport in the Province of Saskatchewan has not defined a disabled person in any policy or any regulations. In the Minister’s Order for Provincial Parks rates and fees (2015-16 operating season), there are no reduced rates for vehicle entry permits for disabled individuals. In our 2015 Saskatchewan Parks guide, the following narrative is included in the section labelled “Important information”: Barrier-Free Some provincial parks offer barrier-free camping and recreational activities, including accessible trails for persons with mobility challenges. We make every effort to accommodate your needs. Barrier-free campsites are available for visitors displaying a valid “parking for those with disabilities” permit. Barrier-free campsites can be reserved online or through the call centre.
COMMENTS: Manitoba Provincial Parks does not offer discounted park entry to people with a disability. Our park entry fees are set on a per vehicle basis. There are all kinds of disabilities with a range of accommodations that could/should be made. We have typically focused on making things wheelchair accessible, as there are many who could benefit from larger stalls or even surfaces (families with young children, seniors using walkers etc.) We do offer the following: Approximately 50% of our Yurt installations are disabled accessible. This means the yurt entrance has a ramp. The picnic table will have an extended top making it wheelchair accessible. Similarly any new rental cabins we build, half are wheelchair accessible. Where possible we have made adjustments to older structures.All of our new washroom and shower buildings are able to accommodate wheelchairsWe have disabled accessible campsites, which have an even surface, and additional space between table and fire pit. The picnic table also has an extended end. These sites are located within a shorter distance to an accessible washroom facility, and the trail up to the washroom also has a level surface.Interpretive panels are placed at an angle and low enough to the ground so that someone in a wheelchair could easily access the information.In some locations we offer disabled accessible campsites to seasonal camping patrons. We have a draw process to allocate seasonal campsites and those with accessibility issues have an opportunity to jump to the front of the queue. They must submit a Dr’s note with their application outlining their requirement for an accessible site. (for some it means electrical service). They still pay the same fee.We have a few disabled accessible fishing platforms. In the future we will incorporate touch plates for the visually impaired on the outside of washroom/shower buildings and other locations where that might be feasible.
COMMENTS: Here are a few answers regarding your questions about disabled persons. In our national parks network, the admission to the parks is free for a person accompanying a disabled person who would not otherwise have access to the park, be able to get around in the park, or participate in an activity. Other than that, there is no discount for activities, lodging or services. We do not ask for a specific document : some people present us with a parking sticker, but there is no official document needed. It is easier to see for people in wheelchairs, but we also apply the accompanist free admission for intellectual disabilities, etc. Take note that there is an organization in the province of Quebec, Keroul, who promote the tourism accessibility (link in resources below).
COMMENTS: In answer to your questions. We don’t define disabled clients since there are no discounts for those clients. Questions: Does your park system define a disabled person? No. provincially we have an Disability Policy Office. Do you offer a reduced fee for someone who has a disability? No What type of identification do you ask for from the person with aDisability? Nothing
COMMENTS: Currently, the New Brunswick Parks Act does not include a definition for disabled persons nor do we offer reduced fees to persons with disabilities. That being said, the question of including discounted rates for disabled persons within our fee structure has come up recently. I am about to embark on the same research that you are conducting now, so your email is very timely. Would you be willing to share the info you receive from other jurisdictions? It would greatly help me as we try to answer basically the same fundamental questions Ontario Parks is asking.
COMMENTS: Please see attached the definition the GoC is using for persons with disabilities: However, when it comes to the definition we use for our client service, it differs a bit, as explained below. Does your park system define a disabled person? If so is the disabled person defined in a regulation or in policy? Please provide the definition of a disabled person. Disability: Any physical or mental condition which may affect an individual’s opportunity to understand, appreciate and enjoy completely or partially park heritage resources (adapted from the definition by the Canadian Organizing Committee for 1981 [International Year of Disabled Persons]). Handicap: A condition which arises from an environmental situation such as an obstacle created by the design, operation or location of a Parks Canada facility which prevents an individual from understanding, appreciating or enjoying completely or partially park heritage resources (adapted from the definition by the Canadian Organizing Committee for 1981 [International Year of Disabled Persons]). Do you offer a reduced fee for someone who has a disability? No. We aim for universal design solutions to serve a range of needs in accessing experiences. What type of identification do you ask for from the person with a disability? We trust self-identification. Two specific scenarios come to mind that the service team has advised on: a) Service animals: Our guidance to date has been that if a visitor identifies their animal as a service animal we don’t question it. b) Requests for sign language interpretation: there is a legal ruling that if a visitor requests a sign language interpreter with sufficient advance notice we will arrange for it. Another accessibility consideration comes into play when the person with a disability is accompanied by a support person. Good service practice would be to offer free entry to the support person, and this is articulated in the User Fees and Revenue Management Policy, excerpted here: 7. User fees will not be charged for: … f) accredited escorts of disabled people when participating in a provincially recognized program (entry, heritage presentation special programs)
Response Rate: 12/13 for 92%
Does your park system define a disabled person? If so is the disabled person defined in a regulation or in policy? Please provide the definition of a disabled person.
Jurisdictions often use Provincial/National/Other Ministry definitions, if anything, of Disability/Disabled Person. Parks specific definitions are rare.
Do you offer a reduced fee for someone who has a disability?
Focus is placed on accessible services/facilities as the barrier to engagement. Finances not normally identified as the primary barrier to engagement for persons with disabilities.
That being said, where finances are identified as a barrier, as with AISH (see Alberta comment section), it is recommended that fee reductions be introduced
Waving of user fee for persons accompanying a person with a disability identified as a good service practice.
What type of identification do you ask for from the person with a disability?
Self Identification or Placards most reportedly used
B.C, which offers one of the largest discounts, (free frontcountry camping), requires most significant identification (see B.C comment section)
The concept of reduced fees for persons with disabilities seems to be often based on the concept of the limited accessibility of the experience to those persons. Rather than accept this reality and try to “make up for it” with a discount, jurisdictions seem to be trying to remedy the issue of access with universal design and inclusive services so that persons with disabilities are not missing any components of the parks experience.
Future Questions to Ask:
Although finances may not be the primary barrier to access for people with disabilities, could a financial incentive encourage those who have been previously excluded from a setting to engage with the experience?
Many jurisdictions do not yet seem to have any policies regarding persons with disabilities. Those that do seem to have extensive Inclusivity Policies and Guidelines. Is it possible to encourage jurisdictions without policies to adopt and adapt existing policies into their procedures? What resources would they need to accomplish this?
I was hoping you could send this request out to CPC members to pass along to appropriate staff to reply to my questions below.
Background information on the current situation in Ontario Parks regarding the definition of a disabled person and the discounts allowed to use our parks for the day or camp overnight.
Fee discounts for persons with a disability. A Regulation approved by Cabinet under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act 2006 defines a disabled person as a resident of Ontario who holds a disabled persons parking permit issued under the Highway Traffic Act, or a National Identity Card issued by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. The Ontario Parks disabled persons fee discount applies only to those who meet this definition. Ontario Parks does not limit use of parks by disabled persons, but we do restrict eligibility for the fee discount.
Without a disabled parking permit or a CNIB identity card at present a person would not qualify for the discounted fees. Discount rates are offered in recognition of the fact that persons in the above mentioned two categories cannot fully enjoy the majority of the facilities and programs offered by the park, such as trails and beaches; their physical disabilities do not allow them to do so. Other agencies and governments may recognize a wider range of disabilities, such as autism, diabetes, epilepsy, learning disabilities and hearing impairment, depending on the organization. All of these disabilities present daily challenges to disabled persons but they do not significantly affect an individual’s physical ability to use provincial park facilities. These discounts are not based on financial hardship or other financial tests; they are based solely on the physical enjoyment of the park.
The actual definition under Regulation 347 under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006 is a follows:
“disabled person” means a resident of Ontario who is the holder of an accessible parking permit issued under Regulation 581 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario (Accessible Parking for Persons with Disabilities) made under the Highway Traffic Act or a national identity card issued by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind ; (O. Reg. 165/10, s.1(1).)
The definition of a disabled person is in ONTARIO REGULATION 347/07 made under the PPCRA in section 1 which states:
“disabled person” means a resident of Ontario who is the holder of an accessible parking permit issued under Regulation 581 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Accessible Parking for Persons with Disabilities) made under the Highway Traffic Act or a national identity card
issued by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind;
The PPCRA gives the Minister the power to set fees in section 26:
26. (1) The Minister may establish and charge,
(a) fees for entrance into provincial parks of persons, vehicles, boats or
(b) fees for the use of provincial parks or of any facilities or services in
1. Does your park system define a disabled person? If so is the disabled person defined in a regulation or in policy? Please provide the definition of a disabled person.
2. Do you offer a reduced fee for someone who has a disability?
3. What type of identification do you ask for from the person with a disability?
The fundamental questions we are asking ourselves related to disabled persons are:
1. Does Ontario Parks want to continue to provide special consideration for persons with
2. If yes,
1. What criteria will Ontario Parks consider to be an eligible disability?
2. What acceptable documentation is needed to prove a disability?
3.What special consideration in the form of reduced fees, rebates, alternative licences etc. should Ontario Parks provide for eligible persons with a disability?
COMMENTS: Attached directive for site occupancy and management (link in resources below) Key Relevant Points: “The type of equipment that may be permitted on a campsite includes:Motorhomes, truck campers, camper vans, converted buses or other motorized accommodation units, fifth wheels, travel trailers, tent trailers, tents, motor vehicles (includes motorcycles), utility trailers, boat trailers, horse trailers and Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trailers (where permitted). Unloaded OHV’s may be considered allowable equipment in those recreation area campgrounds where their use is permitted.Bicycles, cartop boats or canoes, mosquito tents (dining tents) not used as sleeping accommodation, will not be considered equipment when calculating the maximum number of units allowed on a campsite Note: Motorhomes, truck campers or other motorized camping units are considered to be accommodation units and will not be counted as vehicles” “The maximum allowable combination of motor vehicles, camping accommodation units and pieces of equipment on a campsite is three (3) and of that three, no more than two (2) may be camping accommodation units”“The design and size of a campsite will determine the number, size, or type of camping accommodation units that a specific campsite can accommodate. The campground manager may limit the number of pieces of equipment allowed on a particular campsite to less than three. For example, the campground manager may decide that due to site design and dimensions, only one camping accommodation unit of a certain size of type, may be assigned to that specific site.”“The number of persons permitted on a campsite may not exceed 6 unless they are all members of a single-family unit. Registered overnight guests of the camping party may be permitted on the campsite overnight provided the total number of persons on the campsite does not exceed 6”
COMMENTS: Attached policies regarding campsite management (links in resources below) Key Relevant Points: “Only one camping unit is allowed per site except where sites are designated as double sites. Designated double sites must not have a negative environmental or ecological impact as determined by the park.”“Mobile homes and bunkhouse type trailers are not allowed. All units must be maintained so as not to detract from the park setting. All units/equipment must be contained within the site. One pup tent (per single site) for accommodating dependent children and one screened tent for meal purposes may be allowed with prior approval of the park manager or designate and depending on the size of the campsite. No other structures or site alterations are permitted.”“Camping party size per campsite is limited to 6 people, unless the party is a single family group of up to two parents plus children under the age of 16 as approved by the park manager. Additional limits may be applied in specific parks at certain times.”“Only two vehicles are allowed at each camping site at any time. Any vehicle detachable from the camping unit is considered one of the two vehicles. One watercraft/site is allowed. Visitors are to park their vehicles in designated visitor parking areas.
COMMENTS: Attached Night Camping Program Policy “Camping Unit: A tent, tent-trailer, camper truck, camping trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome. “Only one vehicle is permitted in each campsite unless approved by an officer. Visitors of campground occupants must leave their vehicles in designated parking areas.”“The number of occupants per site is restricted to 4 persons or one complete family unit. Equipment restrictions apply. The family unit is generally defined as parent(s) and their children under the age of eighteen, with the possible addition of a grandparent or similar relative. The permit holder must be present on site for the duration of stay. All occupants must be accommodated within the allowable equipment.”“Where campsites are set out in defined lots, only one camping unit is permitted per site. Restrictions on the number of site occupants apply. Storage tents or trailers are not permitted on the site unless an exemption is made by the officer. Vertical tarps are not allowed. If space is available, a tend and/or dining tent may be set up at a campsite for those identified on the permit. Cabanas are not allowed on the site. In addition, if space permits, and at the discretion of a park officer, the following may also be permitted: One boat and trailer combinationOne additional motor vehicleEquipment that is not allowed on site:Portable shower, if showers are available in campgroundsHolding tanks that are not part of camping unit or not recognized portable wastewater receptacles (i.e.: “Smart Totes”)Wood, oil or propane heat sources with chimneys”
COMMENTS: Here is a brief summary of our policies : Maximum number of people per campsite : 6 (certain exceptions exist)Maximum number of vehicles : 1 where authorized (a second is authorized if space permits)
COMMENTS: Our limitations are; Party size is limited to six peopleEquipment is limited to one piece of equipment plus a kitchen shelter or childs tent. We also limit by campsite size, length of stay and availability for reservation
COMMENTS: Here are the policies regarding camping units and number of people per campsite for New Brunswick Provincial Parks: A maximum of 6 people is permitted to stay on any campsite, with the exception of families (2 parents with their children under the age of 18).A maximum of 3 pieces of shelter is permitted on any campsite, with only one of the shelters being a tent / trailer / motor home.
COMMENTS: On PEI each campsite is permitted a maximum of two (2) tents or a combination of one (1) tent and one (1) trailer. We have no restriction on guests/site but all guests must be recorded on the registration form.
COMMENTS: Current Campground regulations (1984), section 5 (5) states “A campground permit does not authorize the use of campground facilities for more than one accommodation unit at one time” where “accommodation unit” means any tent, tent-trailer, camper, camper-truck, camping trailer, mobile home, motor home, or other form of movable, temporary accommodation, and includes any automobile when used for camping purposes; In reality, our rules of thumb are as follows: If there are two accommodation units on a site (e.g. combination of a RV/tent or two tents), we usually won’t make people pay for the second accommodation unit, because often a tent is for the children of the family in an accommodation unit. Sometimes if there are two large RV units occupying a site, we may ask them both to register and pay as they have a larger footprint and usually are burning a fire (consuming greater amount of firewood) for longer (usually given the number of people that can occupy a site within two RV’s)If a site has 3, 4 or more tents/RV’s on it, we will typically ask them to pay for the number of tents/RV’s beyond 2, especially if it isn’t a family unit but adult individuals.On special event weekends, such as Chilkat Bike Relay (Pine Lake campground) or Dawson City Music Festival (Yukon River campground) where there are multitudes of tents or RV combinations per site, all accommodation units will be requested to pay and in the case of Dawson City Music Festival, we restrict the number of accommodation units on a site to 4. Big events such as these, usually means there are as many people as possible squeezed into each accommodation unit!Commercial recreation groups are required to pay per accommodation unit per campsiteFor annual pass holders…again, we use the 2 maximum rule and if there is a 3rd RV on a site, then at least 1 other is asked to pay.Park Officer discretion is/can be applied in any of the circumstances listed above.
COMMENTS: Our 2007 National Parks Camping Regulations (still in effect) states that: No person shall locate or erect more than one portable cabin, or a tent or trailer on the campsite to which a camping permit applies. (10 (f) )Maximum party size is determined by campground design versus regulation and therefore varies from location to location.Generally this means up to 6 people, or parents and their dependant children, using up to one vehicle and one camping unit allowed per site.
Response Rate: 9/13 for 69%
Most reported accommodation unit limitation: 1 + 1 non-accomodation equipment unit (i.e. dining tent)
Most reported number of people limitation: 6 or 1 family unit defined as parent(s) with their children.
Most reported number of vehicles allowed: 1 vehicle, additional visitor parking is normally provided
Exceptions can be made by the Campground Manager under certain circumstances.
Future Questions to Ask:
Are the above limits serving the purpose for which they were intended? I.e. If the number of occupants per site was limited in order to reduce noise and footprint, has this limitation decreased the noise and footprint of sites?
2015 Jurisdictional Scan: Bridge Directives or Policies
Does your jurisdiction have a bridge inspection document similar to that of Parks Canada?
COMMENTS: Alberta Parks and Alberta Transportation have an agreement whereby Alberta Transportation is responsible for the administration of our bridge infrastructure. The following is a response from Alberta Transportation: Alberta Transportation does manage a number of Parks bridges. We do not have separate documentation for Parks bridges. All bridges we manage fall under our Bridge Inspection and Maintenance (BIM) system (inspection and reference manuals available at: http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/4827.htm). Our conceptual and detailed design documentation is available at http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/4754.htm and our bridge construction specifications are available at http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/4753.htm . If highway standards were deemed beyond optimal for a given site (e.g. geometrics, structural capacity), the project sponsor may pursue a design exception for a replacement or new design in consultation with the operator of the road. We do have separate design guidelines for local road bridges (direction, control and management by rural municipalities) which provide more flexibility in selecting structure options and design parameters – http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/3707.htm . Some of this information may be applicable to low standard Parks bridges.
COMMENTS: Original Email: Hi Everyone – Alberta is considering an update to its Parks legislation, and we would like to connect with those of you who may have updated your own legislation within the last few years. Please send a staff contact to Andrea Debolt as soon as you are able and she will follow-up with specific questions about consultation and engagement. Andrea can also be reached at email@example.com or 780-644-4869. Also, for those jurisdictions where protected areas legislation is owned by another Ministry, it would be great if you could point us to someone there as well.
Does your jurisdiction have any digital copies of manuals, protocols, and policies that relate to job hazard analysis, vehicle and equipment operation and maintenance, and training requirements for specific tasks?
COMMENTS: Here is the link to our Safety Management and Accident Prevention Program (SMAPP) – http://www.smapp.ca/ The SMAPP program materials was originally developed by BC Parks but has now been adopted across the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture.
COMMENTS: I have been assigned this request and will work to compile information. Could you please provide more detail as to what you are looking for? The Government of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety program is extensive and it would help to narrow it down a bit more. For example, are you looking for actual Hazard Assessment examples or a template and guidelines to complete an assessment? Are you looking specifically for information from the Alberta Parks OH&S program or more general government information? To start you off, you can take a look at the public webpage at http://work.alberta.ca/occupational-health-safety.html . This will provide you with a general overview of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety program. I would be more than happy to assist you with any questions or fill in gaps that may come up in your review.
COMMENTS: I have set up a discussion thread on http://parkable.ca/forum/topics/nwt-cpc-information-request . I have included the current park standards for the province with inspection forms. Plus, the current safe work practices (SWP’s) that our park staff would work with. There are other SWP’s that cover other things like Fire Operations and Helicopter Operations I can include in the thread if you are interested in.
Many jurisdictions have extensive manuals and documents outlining protocols and policies that relate to job hazard analysis, vehicle and equipment operation and maintenance, and training requirements for specific tasks
Future Questions to Ask:
Would a large, collective database for resources like this be useful? A sort of library of manuals across jurisdictions, where jurisdictions could simply deposit copies of manuals into the database.
Links to Resources:
British Columbia Safety Management and Accident Prevention Program (SMAPP)
COMMENTS: Parks Canada has two mechanisms through which we offer free entry in certain situations to Aboriginal peoples. However, neither of them apply to all Parks Canada locations. Both are on an individual basis. The first is a statement in our User Fee and Revenue Management Policy which states that “user fees will not be charged for Aboriginal people engaged in traditional spiritual and ceremonial activities pursuant to agreements with neighbouring aboriginal communities or regional tribal councils or as specified in land claim agreements, treaties or park establishment agreements.” The second mechanism is more recent and not limited to land claim agreements, treaties or park establishment agreements. It is through our pilot Aboriginal Peoples Open Doors program. Any Parks Canada location can participate in this pilot program if they choose. The Aboriginal Peoples Open Doors program is intended to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal communities that have historic ties to a Parks Canada location. As such, it offers free entry to members of specific communities to a specific park or site. It is not intended to offer free entry to Aboriginal people to all PC locations.
Response Rate: 7/13 for 54%
Many jurisdictions have policies in place for free vehicle entry for Indigenous Peoples
These policies are most often associated with traditional land use
Some jurisdictions do not charge vehicle entry fees for anyone
Future Questions to Ask:
Should Indigenous Peoples have free access to all Parks and Protected Areas? How would that be coordinated across jurisdictions? What would this kind of policy look like?
COMMENTS: Actuellement, l’accès aux chiens n’est pas permis dans les parcs du réseau Parcs Québec. Nous envisageons la possibilité de leur donner accès et documentons le dossier. Nous souhaitons nous inspirer de l’expérience des autres réseaux de parcs afin de nous aider à faire les meilleurs choix./ For the time being, dogs are denied access to the parks in our provincial network. However, we are examining the possibility of permitting the entry of dogs in Quebec parks in the future. We would like to learn from the experience of other park networks to help us make the best choices.
COMMENTS: Leashed pets are allowed to be walked in all of our NJ State Parks (see below “Pets in Parks”). However, they are only allowed in five (5) of our campgrounds (overnight) in the Southern part of our state due to concerns because of the large population of black bears. From our NJ State Park Service website: www.njparksandforests.ord Pet Friendly Campsites The New Jersey State Park Service is once again welcoming pets and their owners to select campgrounds within the NJ State parks/forests. The fee for the pet friendly campsites is $5 per night. Bass River, Belleplain, Brendan Byrne (formerly Lebanon), Parvin, Wharton Pets in Parks We know that your pets love parks too. Pets are welcome to our parks as long as they are kept on a leash six (6) feet or less in length and under the physical control of their handler at all times. Pets are prohibited from all buildings, swimming beaches and swimming waters, non-designated pet friendly campsites and overnight facilities. Remember, you are responsible for your pet’s behavior at all times. Please clean up after your pet.
TENNESSEE STATE PARKS
COMMENTS: Below is the rules that establishes the requirement to follow for pets to be allowed on our parks. 0400-02-02-.08 DOGS, CATS, AND OTHER PETS. (1) Dogs, cats and other pets are prohibited unless they are crated, caged or on a leash, or otherwise under physical restrictive control at all times. (2) Pets are prohibited in park inns, cabins, lodges (except in areas specifically designated for pets), public eating places, food stores, and on designated swimming beaches, public spray pads and pools at all times. The Park Manager may also designate, by the posting of appropriate signs, other portions of park areas where pets are not permitted. This prohibition shall not apply to Seeing Eye Dogs or Hearing Ear Dogs or service animals with their master. (3) The keeping of dogs, cats or other pets by residents is prohibited unless authorized by the Park Manager under such conditions as they may prescribe. (4) Dogs, cats or other pets running at large and observed in the act of killing, injuring or molesting humans or wildlife may be disposed of in the interest of public safety and protection of the wildlife. (5) In park areas where hunting is permitted, the use of dogs may be allowed in accordance with rules of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission. (6) Persons shall clean up a pet’s waste in any park area. Failure to clean up the waste is a violation of park rules. Authority: T.C.A. § 11-1-108. Administrative History: Original rule certified May 24, 1974. Amendment filed August 24, 1987; effective October 8, 1987. Amendment filed June 14, 2010; effective September 12, 2010.
COMMENTS: 10 years ago we had a thriving park host program that was managed by our staff. When we moved to a contractor model for our park operations, the Hosting program shifted to our Park Operators to manage rather than us. I have attached the old program manual for your information, hopefully you find it helpful. As part of our renewed volunteer Strategy I am beginning the process of bringing the program back to life with more central coordination. Later this month I am meeting with our Society of Park Operators to solicit feedback on the program to help me decide how we can offer support and guidance to make the program more successful and consistent from park to park. It’s very much a work in progress for us at the moment. Here is where we post hosting opportunities online: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/aboutBCParks/employment/volunteerOpportunities.html (link no longer active)
COMMENTS: Some form of a provincial Host Program has been in place in Alberta for at least 40 years. The program in Alberta originated in three government service business units: Forestry operated recreation area campgroundsProvincial Park campgroundsTransportation roadside campgrounds Each business unit had an official or unofficial Host program and placements, with the decision to have a Host placement determined at local levels. In the 1990’s, all provincial government campgrounds were amalgamated under provincial parks, and this resulted in a single Alberta Parks Host Program. In 2000, I was hired in a fulltime Coordinator of Volunteer Services role, which allocates about 10% of my time to provincial oversight of the Host Program. Having a central point of contact/coordination for the Host Program enables placement coordination, training and supply support, problem solving central record keeping and advocacy. In recent years, Alberta Parks has offered between 35-65 locations for placements, out of approximately 250 total campgrounds. Note some campgrounds receive more than one placement (some of our large campgrounds have 2-3 concurrent placements). Alberta Parks also currently deploys Hosts in few day-use only locations (no campground anywhere in park). These locations have facilities and services onsite to enable a fulltime campsite being utilized. Regardless of a campground or day-use site, the following are the general internal items for consideration before launching a new volunteer placement or program: Need AssessmentPolicyRisk ManagementResourcing CommitmentSite Availability/SuitabilityPlacement CoordinationOrientation and TrainingSupervision and Performance ManagementSupply ManagementRecord KeepingRecognitionEvaluation Placements currently require a commitment by volunteers of at least 4 weeks, however most placements tend to be between 12 and 20 weeks. Host placements are not required to follow our maximum stay regulation of 16 days. During their service, we expect a minimum of 5 hours/day of service, for 5 consecutive days spanning the entire weekend, we two consecutive days off mid-week (same as for staff). Most Hosts do 10 hours/day and at least 5 consecutive days. Unsolicited applicants may come forward either at the site level, through contact with district/regional/provincial staff, or via our online website. By far most applicants identify having exposure to the program and being encouraged to apply, through contact with current volunteer Hosts out in the system. At the end of each season, successful Host placements are provided “first right of return” back to the same site, for the same time period, unless there is some change in the operational status at that location. After returnees are confirmed for next season, those seasoned Hosts looking for a transfer are accommodated. Then any remaining locations are opened up for new placements. We strive to complete all of this between November and February, as in February our online reservation system goes active. Field staff like this approach because they prefer to have known proven volunteers at their park, especially high profile/high volume locations. Regardless of how an applicant comes forward, and how they get matched to a site with a current vacancy, ultimately it is the supervisor for the placement that has the final decision to accept or decline a new applicant. Part of that decision making process includes reviewing the application, interviewing the applicants, calling references as required. Note Criminal Record Checks are not a mandatory requirement for all Hosts currently but some specific placements do require it (this is the same approach currently taken with staff). Once a placement is approved, volunteers are encouraged to attend a central provincial spring Host workshop, which provides an opportunity to learn, share and receive central supplies. Upon starting their placement, their supervisor is required to administer our standard volunteer agreement (see attached), and review the Host Orientation Handbook(see attached) with them. Supervisors are also response for provide onsite orientation as required, including provision of publications and other distribution materials. Note seasonal staff are not permitted to supervise volunteers, however they may serve as a communication link. Regarding assessment of performance of the program with regards to desired outcomes, Alberta Parks is currently conducting a Program Review for the Host Program. This initiative was founded in a 2014 Ministerial request to substantially expand the program, and so the value of the program has already been confirmed, so we are now working through how best to improve and grow the program, within the current operational climate. This could include expansion into regular front country campsites, day-use, focus on supporting comfort camping, or backcountry campgrounds. Regardless of how, how much and where we expand and grow the Host Program, we know there will be some sites where it is feasible currently. Factors in such sites include: Inadequate telecommunication options – landline, cellphone, radio (operational/OH&S/Emergency)No sewage disposal options (convenience and legislative compliance)Remote location with insufficient staff presence (we don’t put volunteers, where staff don’t have a daily presence/reasonable response time).Poor/non-existent regulation compliance (we don’t put peacekeepers in where there is no peace to keep). From a general statistical analysis, the Host Program annually contributes about 50,000 hours Alberta Parks, or $750,000 of direct service support in visitor services, reservation support, infrastructure protection, peer level compliance and general operational support. Keeping in mind these folks provide their own accommodations, use their own vehicles to supplement their volunteering, and in the case of full-time RVers, aren’t really ever off-duty all summer long, total contribution to the crown is more likely around 1 million annually, and that’s from approximately 80 individual volunteers. In conclusion our volunteer Hosts have moved beyond merely augmenting and supporting staff, to now being integral components of our operational program and service delivery team, at the locations they are deployed. Our provincial public information unit gets asked by callers if an particular site being considered has a volunteer Host, because callers like the security and comfort from knowing that someone will be there to help them if they need it. This is especially the case with seniors, single travelers, single parents and more recently, new Canadians. The public has come to accept that the staffing models in many parks, don’t afford an active and fulltime presence of staff, however the presence of a Host does mitigate their concerns, and results in referrals($), extended stays($), repeat visitation ($).
COMMENTS: Do any jurisdictions have a campground host program in place? Yes, Saskatchewan has a campground host program in place. If a host program is in place –How was it established? The program was operating in 2006 when I became involved and I believe had been established a number of years prior to that – perhaps five or six more years. I don’t have any files going beyond 2006 so cannot give you the exact number of years. Is there a “manual” or “guiding document” available and shareable? Yes, I could absolutely share with you all of our electronic files. Upon request, I will forward. Have there been any assessment of the performance of the program with regard to desired outcomes I have never done an assessment of the program. Have any jurisdictions explored the idea of volunteer host programs and chosen not to implement? Participation in the campground host program by our provincial parks is voluntary and some parks decide not to participate. If so, why was that decision made? My best guess would be the program is not required at that particular location.
COMMENTS: A park host program has existed in Ontario Parks for more than twenty-five years, although until this past year, the program has been organized and delivered at the park level. For the 2015 season, Ontario Parks established a Park Host Program Manual and Guidelines (please find attached for your reference). These documents were created as a means to formalize the program and to ensure consistency across the province. Participation in the program is at the discretion of the Park Superintendent at each park location. In terms of the success of the program, it is essentially only monitored at the park level at this time [please see Appendices 8 (Park Host Survey), 9 (Park Host Performance Evaluation) and 10 (Annual Program Report Template) of the Park Host Program Guidelines document].
COMMENTS: We looked into this a few years ago, for our camping operation, and were slammed immediately by the local union at the prospect of taking work away from unionized employees. We do operate a volunteer Trail Ambassador Program on Confederation Trail…our completed section of the Trans Canada Trail. These folks cycle a section of trail talking to users about regulations, providing direction, taking feedback and reporting maintenance issues. This particular program has always been run by volunteers so we have not had any union issues. If anyone in your shop is interested let me know and I’ll put them in contact with our Trail Coordinator.
COMMENTS: The NWT does not have a volunteer host program, has not considered one in the past, and is not currently considering such a program. The issue primarily is workload – these types of organizations take a lot of hand holding work, and we don’t have staff capacity.
COMMENTS: Original Email: Good morning Dawn. Yukon Parks is investigating the possibility of establishing a volunteer host program for our campground system. We would like to know what other jurisdictions are doing in this regard. It would be helpful if we could get a quick jurisdictional scan seeking information on the following: Do any jurisdictions have a campground host program in place?If a host program is in placeHow was it established?Is there a “manual” or “guiding document” available and shareable?Have there been any assessment of the performance of the program with regard to desired outcomesHave any jurisdictions explored the idea of volunteer host programs and chosen not to implement?If so, why was that decision made?If you could pass some version of this request along to our colleagues it would be greatly appreciated.
Response Rate: 8/13 for 61%
Campground Host programs that do exist have generally been in place for decades and have a wealth of data to inform their existence and success.
Alberta in particular seems to have a thriving Campground Host Program.
There is the possibility of running into issues with unionized employees if they feel work is being taken away from them.
Participation in a Campground Host Program is often at the discretion of individual park supervisors; having a program in place does not mean that the program is offered everywhere.
Future Questions to Ask:
How often should a Campground Host Program be revisited, evaluated, and updated?
What have been some of the challenges in maintaining a successful Campground Host Program?
COMMENTS: An agreement between our Ministry and the unions does not exist. I have attached a Volunteer Agreement used by our Ministry when volunteers are engaged in volunteer work. Let me know if you wish to discuss.
COMMENTS: We don’t have any formal agreements for trail work with volunteer organizations in any of our provincial parks. The collective agreement does not reference volunteers in the work place. I’d be interested to see what you get though
COMMENTS: Hi Dawn, I posted in ParkAble already, but am wondering if you could e-mail the Directors as well? I’m wondering if “Anyone have/willing to share, written agreements with Unions on allowing volunteers to ‘work’ in parks? Am thinking specifically of trails.” We’re in the midst of provincial union negotiations right now and I’m thinking it might be an opportunity to formulate an official agreement on volunteering in our parks.
COMMENTS: On PEI we have no formal agreements on park/trail volunteers written into our CA. However, for the past 12-14yrs we have coordinated a volunteer program on Confederation Trail. This initiative began as a enforcement program but has evolved into more of an ambassador program over the last 3-4. We have had no concerns expressed by the union. If you’d like any additional info give me a call. Thanks.