South Nation Conservation (SNC) has re-opened public boat launches, river access points and select conservation areas, with certain COVID-19 precautions in place.
Eager anglers and boaters from across SNC’s 4,441-square-kilometer jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario can (safely) get ready for the season.
Play structures are open, but washrooms will remain closed during the Stay-at-Home Order. Visitors are asked to only use these areas with members of their own household. If using facilities, or when in close contact with others consider wearing a mask.
SNC is reminding users that distancing directives must continue to be followed. Visitors are asked to keep pets on leash, to not litter, and to not congregate on trails, fishing areas, parking lots or docks, as well as to be respectful and courteous to other visitors.
It is also unsafe and illegal under the Federal Fisheries Act to fish within 23 metres of a dam and are reminding people to 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 poses significant risks to fish populations.
The following Conservation Areas and municipal partner sites for river access and boat launching are all open as of May 21:
- 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)
- Oak Valley Pioneer Park Conservation Area (Winchester Springs)
- Spencerville Mill Riverside Park and Boat Launch (Spencerville)
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 Area will remain temporarily closed:
- Camp Sheldrick Conservation Area (Winchester)
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to open the remainder of our parks, boat launches and docks,” said John Mesman, SNC’s Conservation Lands and Community Outreach Lead. “People are eager to explore natural spaces close to home 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 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 for donors and to provide people a place to step outdoors and into nature.
SNC is a not-for-profit, 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.