Take a ride to the wild side! Parks Canada teams up with Parkbus

TORONTO, May 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Outdoor enthusiasts queued up early this morning for a ride to an incredible nationally protected national park. These early risers were the first Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents to take advantage of the new regular Parkbus service from downtown Toronto to Bruce Peninsula National Park.

In a short pre-boarding ceremony, Mrs. Ellen Bertrand, External Relations Director for Parks Canada, celebrated the signing of a partnering agreement between Parks Canada and Parkbus and wished all the passengers of this first trip of the season "Bon Voyage."

"Parkbus is providing an easy way for people to escape the urban jungle and discover a part of Canada that is truly spectacular, wild, and open to all," said Mrs Bertrand. "National Parks in Ontario offer the very best examples of Canada's vast beauty and outstanding conservation efforts, and with Parkbus, they are becoming more accessible than ever before."

Parks Canada recognizes that transportation is a barrier that many urban Canadians face when planning a visit to a national park. Parkbus offers an environmentally friendlier and affordable option for residents of the Greater Toronto Area to get out, discover and enjoy Canada's treasured natural wonders. Spending the night in one of Parks Canada's many campgrounds across Ontario offers a true escape in some of the country's most beautiful natural heritage areas. Starry nights, breathtaking views, tons of activities and a chance to bond with your family around an open campfire… a quintessential Canadian experience.

In formalizing a partnering agreement with Parkbus, Parks Canada will be better able to work with Parkbus to promote this incredible transportation service, offer new destinations and jointly develop park services that are more responsive to the needs of bus riders.

For those who have never been camping and are not sure where to get started, Parkbus offers an easy way to connect with a park. Many Parkbus riders will also find the Parks Canada Learn to Camp App full of useful tips and tricks about how to get the most out of their national park experience.

"Parkbus exists because there is a demand for a mass transit service to Canada's incredible outdoor spaces," said Boris Issaev, Parkbus founder and Project Manager. "We look forward to working with Parks Canada to improve our offer to Ontario's urban travellers"

The striking scenery of towering cliffs plunging into blue water make Bruce Peninsula National Park one of the most scenic and popular destinations in Ontario. A must see! To find out more about Parkbus and their scheduled service to Bruce Peninsula National Park, visit www.parkbus.ca. Learn more about the many amazing opportunities offered by Parks Canada in Ontario by visiting www.parkscanada.gc.ca/ontario.


BACKGROUNDER

BRUCE PENINSULA NATIONAL PARK OF CANADA

Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada is located at the northern end of the Bruce Peninsula, which divides Georgian Bay from Lake Huron. Established in 1987, along with Fathom Five Marine Park of Canada, the two parks share staff, resources, and a visitor centre, but offer a distinct menu of opportunities to explore, discover and appreciate the incredible peninsula environment.

Defined by the dramatic escarpment that emerges from Georgian Bay and the rich forest, lakes and wetlands that slope gently down to Lake Huron, Bruce Peninsula National Park offers refuge to many rare and threatened species, and is a key part of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. A Mecca for bird watchers, botanists and nature enthusiasts, Bruce Peninsula National Park offers access to one of the highest concentrations of globally, nationally, and provincially rare species in all of Canada.

While the rugged cliffs are inhabited by ancient white cedar trees - some are 1000 years old, yet only a few feet tall - overhanging the crystal clear water of Georgian Bay, the park is also home to an isolated and genetically distinct species of black bear, Ontario's only venomous snake - the Massasauga rattlesnake - and 43 species of orchids. In addition to participating in an annual Orchid Festival, Bruce Peninsula National Park is also part of a recognized dark sky preserve and hosts over 60 species of fish in its inland lakes, ponds, marshes and surrounding waters.

More than just a place of natural significance, the park has a rich cultural heritage. Archaeological evidence tells of human occupation dating to the Archaic period (8000 - 2000 BCE). Today, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation still has strong economic, cultural and spiritual ties to this land. Aboriginal people have made significant contributions to the understanding and management of the park's ecosystem, including the melding of traditional First Nation knowledge with western science.

Whether they come for the geology, ecology, or cultural heritage, visitors to Bruce Peninsula National Park discover a mosaic of unique opportunities for inspiration, adventure, and learning. 

SOURCE: Parks Canada

For further information:

Camille Girard-Ruel
External Relations Manager,
Georgian Bay and Ontario East
Parks Canada
705-427-6835
camille.girard-ruel@pc.gc.ca
www.parkscanada.gc.ca


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