Alberta provincial park facilities are getting a multi-year, multimillion-dollar makeover.
The province says it will spend $239 million over five years on repairs and upgrades to more than 100 provincial parks, recreation and day-use areas.
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Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the provincial park system was badly neglected for decades by the Progressive Conservatives.
“With nearly a million people moving to Alberta in the past decade, funding for parks barely covered routine maintenance and left little room to invest in new parks and amenities to meet increasing demand,” Phillips said in a statement.
She said the money will be spent on new and improved campsites, shower buildings, hiking trails and playgrounds. Comfort cabins — a luxurious alternative to traditional camping — are also being added to Lakeland Provincial Park.
There will also be money to replace water-lines and other upgrades. In addition, over $5 million will go towards flood mitigation for the Kananaskis Country Golf Course in 2016, which was heavily damaged in the 2013 southern Alberta floods.
The province said $16.22 million will be allocated for for maintenance funding in 2016-17. It will double to $33.98 in 2017-18 and subsequent fiscal years.
Phillips says the spending will bolster tourism and create jobs.