April Outdoor Activities in the Park!
What’s Going on in the Parks this April?
By Erin Klatt, EPBR Parks Council
There is something so special about being out in nature! We recommend spending as much time as possible in the wilderness – for both physical and mental health benefits.
Whether it is a quick day hike, a one nighter or a week long trip, there are some things you need to know when venturing out in the backcountry. You can learn these back country skills in our ‘Camping 101 Course’ on Saturday, April 29th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Pembina Nordic Centre in Eagle Point Provincial Park.
We cover a lot of ground! From sleep systems, camp and trail etiquette, to all things cooking (starting a fire, cooking on a fire and back country stove) plus how and what to put in your backpack.
A typical camp lunch is included in the cost of the course as is a guided hike to wrap up the day.
REGISTER FOR CAMPING 101
Learn to Practice Leave No Trace When You’re in Nature. Read on to find out what’s involved.
My family always spent our summer vacation camping. From a young age, my parents instilled in me to leave our campsite better than we found it. This is a lesson I still follow today and try to pass on to others. Here are some basic backcountry ‘Leave No Trace’ principles we can all follow:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare! Know the rules and restrictions for the area you are going to. Be ready for bad weather, natural hazards and other emergencies.
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces! Travel and camp on existing trails and campsites. Avoid taking shortcuts – these create unnecessary erosion. Stay in the middle of the trail – even when it is wet or muddy. This prevents the trail from getting wider or creating new braids.
- Dispose of Waste Properly. Pack out all food waste and trash. Thoroughly inspect picnic area and campsite for trash, food, scraps, cigarette butts and other micro-waste. If an outhouse is not available, human feces should be deposited in a hole dug more than 60m from water sources, trails, and campsites. The sanitary hole should be dug in organic soil 15-20 cm deep and filled in when done. Bathing and washing dishes should be done more than 60 m away from waterways using a minimum amount of biodegradable soap.
- Leave what you Find. Leave stones, plants, and all other natural objects in their original place and condition so that the next person may also enjoy seeing them. Prevent the spread of exotic invasive species by removing mud and debris from shoes, clothing and equipment between each hike.
- Minimize Campfire Impacts. Use a stove whenever possible. If open fires are allowed, use designated locations and keep fires small. Burn only dead wood that is collected and can be broken up by hand.
- Respect Wildlife. Give wildlife their space!
Make your camp ‘critter proof’ – use bear lockers or a bear-proof barrel. This isn’t just because of bears….. mice, squirrels, and ravens often break into hikers’ food bags.
- Be Considerate of Others. Be courteous, share the trail. On a narrow trail, give way to uphill hikers. Take breaks on durable surfaces off the trail.
By following these simple principles, we can all enjoy the peace, tranquility and beauty nature has to offer. Let’s all do our part to keep trails and camping areas ready for the next person now and for generations to come.
Eagle Point Blue Rapids Parks Council has teamed up with the Town of Drayton Valley and Weyerhaeuser to celebrate Earth Day! On Saturday, April 22nd, join us between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm for a walk and trail clean-up.
- Choose to help at one of two locations:
- Lions West Valley Park (meet at the Day Use area)
- Rotary Pembina Nordic Community Trails South.
- Guided walks will be offered at Rotary-Pembina South Trails at 10:30 and at noon. Pick up a conifer tree seedling, donated by Weyerhaeuser at either location. For more information, visit the Earth Day event page.