The summer of 2020 showcased a renewed interest in the outdoors for many Ontarians, who visited parks and conservation areas in record numbers. The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) watershed was no exception and saw a dramatic increase in GSCA property users that is anticipated to continue in 2021.
This rise in visitation not only highlights the importance of having access to nature for physical and mental well-being, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also necessitates the need for increased operations at many GSCA properties.
Through recommendations from GSCA’s Board of Directors, staff investigated pricing options for day parking, as well as season pass parking fees for non-watershed residents. GSCA staff also investigated implementing a membership pass for residents living within GSCA’s eight member municipalities.
Following the review of parking rates at surrounding municipalities, other conservation authorities, and national and provincial parks, the single park, single day parking pass has increased from $6 ($8 on weekends at Inglis Falls Conservation Area) to $10 and a season parking pass will cost non-residents $75 for the calendar year.
The membership fee for residents of the GSCA watershed will remain at $40, which has been the fee for a yearly parking pass for the past four years. The Membership Pass is intended to offer local residents a means of investing directly into the work of their local Conservation Authority and comes with perks. Those who sign up for memberships will also receive event notifications, newsletters, and other important information.
The GSCA thanked residents and visitors for showing their appreciation and support for nature by paying for parking.
“Although GSCA properties are free to visit, parking fees at eight of our conservation areas help us protect and maintain over 28,000 acres of natural areas. By paying for parking, you contribute to facilities like washrooms and boardwalks, assist with land taxes, and support the maintenance of trails and grounds,” said Rebecca Ferguson, Manager of Conservation Lands at Grey Sauble Conservation Authority.
Day parking passes can be purchased on site at the eight GSCA properties that have paid parking using the MacKay Pay App. Season passes and memberships must be purchased through GSCA’s website and will be mailed to recipients to be displayed in their vehicle. For more information about how to pay for parking on a GSCA property or how to purchase a season pass or membership, please visit: www.greysauble.on.ca/parking.