Eager anglers and boaters from across South Nation Conservation’s (SNC) 4,441 square-kilometer jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario can (safely) rejoice.

Following the provincial announcement last week and direction from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, SNC has re-opened public boat launches, river access points and select Conservation Areas, with certain COVID-19 precautions in place.

The following Conservation Areas and municipal partner sites for river access and boat launching are all open as of May 19th:

  • High Falls and Doran Park Conservation Areas (Casselman)
  • St. Albert Conservation Area (St. Albert)
  • Crysler Park Boat Launch (Crysler)
  • Embrun Boat Launch (Embrun)
  • Cass Bridge Conservation Area (Winchester)
  • Jessup’s Falls Conservation Area (Plantagenet)
  • McIntosh Park Conservation Area (Berwick)
  • Findlay Creek Conservation Area (Ottawa)
  • Alfred Bog Walk (Alfred)
  • Chesterville Waterfront Docks and Boat Launch (Chesterville)

The following Conservation Areas continue to remain open and maintained:

  • Two Creek Forest Conservation Area (Morrisburg)
  • Oschmann Forest Conservation Area (Ormond)
  • Robert Graham Conservation Area (Glen Stewart)
  • Warwick Forest Conservation Area (Berwick)
  • J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area (Russell)
  • W. E. Burton Conservation Area (Russell)
  • Reveler Conservation Area (Crysler)
  • Nokomis Park (Limoges)

The following Conservation Areas will remain temporarily closed:

  • Camp Sheldrick Conservation Area (Winchester)
  • Oak Valley Pioneer Park Conservation Area (Winchester Springs)

Play structures and washrooms will remain closed for now; picnic tables will return to gazebos and picnic areas beginning next week.

SNC reminds users that distancing directives must continue to be followed: please keep your pets on leash, do not litter, and do not congregate on trails, fishing areas, parking lots or docks. Please be respectful and courteous to other visitors.

It is unsafe and illegal under the Federal Fisheries Act to fish within 23 metres of a dam: please do not fish near dams or use water control structures to access rivers. Fish congregate in these areas to pass over dams and access fish ladders and fishing prevents many fish species from spawning, which pose significant risks to fish populations. Please use safe and appropriate fishing locations.“We couldn’t be more thrilled to open the remainder of our parks, boat launches and docks for public use,” said John Mesman, SNC’s Communications Lead. “People are excited to get out on the water and as long as our visitors continue to use our public spaces safely, we’re happy to provide access to the local environment!”

SNC is monitoring the pandemic and response closely and will provide updates on changes to operations and business continuity as they become available at www.nation.on.ca/coronavirus.

SNC manages over 20,000 acres of Community Forest in Eastern Ontario and many of the public, day-use Conservation Areas have been donated to the Authority through SNC’s Land Securement Program to help maintain natural legacies and to provide people a place to step outdoors and into nature.

SNC is a not-for-profit and community-based environmental agency that relies on donations and self-generated revenue to protect and enhance the local environment across its 4,441 square-kilometer jurisdiction, on behalf of its 16 partner municipalities.

People can learn more or donate to SNC online at www.nation.on.ca/donate.