Three hundred and eighty hectares of undisturbed native grassland has been donated to Alberta’s provincial parks system.
At the request of donor Gottlob Schmidt, who resides on the land near Hanna, the land will become Antelope Hill Provincial Park.
Antelope Hill has high ecological value because it has never been cultivated. It features rare native grasslands, aspen groves and healthy wetlands in addition to being home to a variety of wildlife, including the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, deer and elk.
“I’m very happy to make this donation to the province and the people of Alberta. I’ve lived on this land since 1933 and my wish is to preserve the land in its natural state for future generations to enjoy.”
~ Gottlob Schmidt, landowner
Schmidt will continue to reside on the land for the immediate future and when he does leave his homestead, the province will open the park to public use and manage the land in accordance with his wishes.
“This is a significant gift from a generous donor who values conservation and preservation of the land. Mr. Schmidt’s offering reflects his passion for our province and its natural beauty, and is a legacy contribution for all Albertans to enjoy.”
~ Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
The park will be managed for wildlife purposes and low-impact recreational uses such as hiking. Hunting, overnight camping and off-highway vehicle use will not be permitted within the park.
Antelope Hill will become Alberta’s 76th provincial park and increase the provincial parks land base to more than 221,000 hectares. Alberta’s parks system includes almost 2.8 million hectares of land under a variety of designations, including Provincial Recreation Areas, Wildland Provincial Parks and Ecological Reserves that support conservation, preservation and recreation opportunities.
The new park will also advance government’s Plan for Parks by acquiring lands for the purpose of conservation.