Restricted access in work zones during parking lot tree removal project
Waterton Lakes National Park – As previously announced, Parks Canada will replace the Cameron Lake day use area facilities as part of the Federal Infrastructure Investments to Waterton Lakes National Park. The scope includes resurfacing the entire length of the Akamina Parkway, future flood mitigations, reconfiguring its trailheads (which are presently heavily congested) and replacing the Cameron Lake day use area facilities.
Winter is the best time of year to do preparatory tree removal work at the Cameron Lake parking lot. It reduces the impact to nesting migratory birds, minimizes soil disturbance, and protects adjacent wetland areas. As such, starting January 18, 2016, trees will be removed from the Cameron Lake parking lot, the majority of which are in a small island in the centre of an existing lot, surrounded by pavement. The reconfiguration of the Cameron Lake day use area will increase the density of the parking lot with minimal disturbance to the surrounding area, including adjacent wetlands.
In addition, providing more parking spaces reduces the amount of overflow parking and reduces the environmental degradation of vehicles parking off the edges of the road. The redesigned parking lot will also include environmental benefits to better manage storm water, directing it away from the wetlands. Parks Canada is working towards conservation gains by reducing the direct flow of storm water into these sensitive areas.
The tree removal work is expected to last three weeks and will take place from Monday to Thursday, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Day Use Area and lake front will be open to the public during this time but access around work zones will be restricted to maintain a safe visitor experience. Closed areas and detours will be clearly identified. There will be noise and slight traffic impacts. Parks Canada will maintain the cross-country ski tracks along the Akamina Parkway from Little Prairie day use area to Cameron Lake.
The number of parking stalls will increase to 126, up from 80, for a 57 percent increase. The paved area will rise from 0.66 hectares by an additional 0.27 hectares for a total paved area of 0.93 hectares.
Cameron Lake Day Use Area is one of the most visited locations in the park. Approximately 70% of park visitors travel along the Akamina Parkway and many of these stop at Cameron Lake. This work will allow Parks Canada to continue to welcome these visitors for decades to come, and allow them to safely and enjoyably experience one of the special places in this Park.
For up-to-date news on infrastructure work in Waterton Lakes National Park visit our website at www.pc.gc.ca/waterton and click on the construction projects link.
Source: Parks Canada Agency