Enjoy eco-friendly outdoor fun

Canada is celebrating 150 years of Confederation in 2017, and Canadians from coast to coast are revelling in our wide open spaces, clean air and abundant wildlife.

If you are planning to visit one of Canada’s 46 national parks this year – or any nature site – here are 10 ideas for maximizing the fun while respecting the environment.

5 fun ways to help the environment

The gateway to nature, adventure and discovery, Canada’s National Parks are the most extensive network of protected areas in the world. If we all do our part, we can keep it that way! Here are some ideas:

1. Enjoy eco-friendly camping. Share space with wildlife without disturbing their habitat. Some simple guidelines include:

  • set up camp in designated campsites
  • use non-toxic toiletries, sunscreen and bug spray
  • choose reusable containers and dishes
  • stay on designated trails
  • build safe campfires

2. Take part in a Parks Canada BioBlitz event. Your family can team up with scientists to find as much wildlife as possible, in a short period of time. Spend time outside, discover wildlife and support the protection of Parks Canada’s special places.

3. Participate in a clean-up activity. Each year, volunteers team up with local communities to clean up shorelines, beaches or dock areas in order to minimize the footprint visitors have on protected areas. Visit the volunteer pages on the website of the park or site you will be visiting for dates and more information.

4. Help kids connect to nature. Visit a national park – or any park! Kids are healthier and happier when they spend time outdoors. It also encourages them to become future stewards of protected areas.

5. Help restore an endangered ecosystem. Contribute to Parks Canada’s restoration of the endangered Garry oak ecosystem with fellow conservationists at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. Pull invasive species, sow seeds, or pitch in thinning and planting bulbs. Other sites are also in need of your help!

5 ways to respect wildlife and stay safe

Observing wildlife as they go about their lives is a fascinating experience – but maintaining healthy boundaries between people and wildlife is an important safety precaution. Here are some tips:

1. Don’t feed the wildlife. Did you know feeding wildlife in a national park is illegal? That’s because feeding wild animals can cause them to lose their fear of people and their ability to find their own food sources, and to become increasingly aggressive towards people in seeking out food.

2. Keep your dog on a leash.  Dogs can cause some wild animals to feel threatened and become aggressive: Every year, off-leash dogs are injured by wild animals in national parks – a situation that could be avoided.

3. Keep your campsite clean. Store food, garbage, dishes and toiletries in wildlife-proof containers. If a bear becomes conditioned to human food, he/she will likely return to the same location to aggressively seek out human food.

4. Speaking of bears... Stay at least 30 m away from large animals and 100 m away from bears. Approaching wildlife can lead them to losing their natural wariness of people. If you encounter a wild animal, talk loudly, clap, blow a whistle or sing, which gives them (and you) time to get out of the way.

5. Hike safely. Hike during daylight and check weather and trail conditions. Always tell someone where you are going. Take water and snacks, and stay on designated trails. Check on closures in advance, which are put in place in the event of possible risks to visitors.

More on this topic

Respecting wildlife, Parks Canada

Travel safe in bear country, Parks Canada

Volunteer with Parks Canada, Parks Canada


Other topics of interest:

The information and advice are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice.