Parks Canada Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Point Pelee National Park Commemorating a Century of Community and Conservation at Canada’s Southernmost Park
Parks Canada’s places represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. Point Pelee National Park – a lush Carolinian forest oasis at the southernmost tip of Canada – was the first national park established solely for ecological conservation reasons.
A gateway to discovering nature, Point Pelee National Park resounds with migrating songbirds in spring, hums with cicadas in summer, flutters with Monarch butterflies in fall, and is a place of peaceful reflection in winter. Today, the park has the highest biodiversity of any national park in Canada and is home to more than 60 species at risk.
Together with Nature, Point Pelee National Park’s centennial is a year-long celebration of bringing people and nature together. Signature events and activities will feature exciting and meaningful experiences for visitors, highlight the important role that conservation plays in the park and help foster the next generation of stewards for this national treasure. As part of the activities to mark the 100th anniversary of the park on May 29, local students planted trees to help restore the park’s sensitive habitats. A “Learn-to Camp” workshop was held at the oTENTik Village, a new Point Pelee National Park video was released and a poster-sized version of a commemorative stamp by Canada Post was presented.
While Point Pelee National Park is celebrating its 100th anniversary, the history of this land dates back far beyond 100 years. Parks Canada recognizes that Indigenous peoples have inhabited these lands since time immemorial and remain integral to Point Pelee’s future.
Following the largest consultation ever on Parks Canada – the Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!, Catherine McKenna, Minister responsible for Parks Canada, identified three priorities for the Agency: to Protect and Restore our national parks and historic sites, to enable Canadians to Discover and Connect with our national parks and heritage, and to Sustain for generations to come the incredible value – both ecological and economic – that our national parks and historic sites provide for communities. Point Pelee National Park is an excellent example of Parks Canada efforts to protect and restore our natural spaces and enable Canadians to discover and connect with nature.
“Today is the 100th anniversary of Point Pelee National Park. This represents not only decades of world-class conservation, but also incredible visitor experiences and strong partnerships, with local First Nations. From new camping and picnic areas, to world famous vistas from the Tip and the Marsh Boardwalk tower, Point Pelee National Park provides Canadians with many opportunities to connect with nature, and better understand the need to protect it. Point Pelee truly is one of our natural treasures.” – The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
This year, the Government of Canada is celebrating families and the importance of protected areas with free admission to Parks Canada’s places for youth 17 and under, starting in 2018 and beyond. We invite Canadians to come celebrate Point Pelee’s 100th anniversary.
- Point Pelee is the first national park established for ecological conservation reasons; initiated by a local grassroots movement, it has been a “go to” place for the community for the past 100 years.
- In 2017, Point Pelee National Park welcomed more than 535,000 visitors, an increase of almost 70% compared with 2016.
- Point Pelee National Park has the highest biodiversity of any national park in Canada; it is home to 380 species of migrating birds, 750 species of vascular plants, more than 60 species at risk (the most in all of Canada’s national parks), along with a rich cultural history dating back more than 6,000 years.
- A full list of centennial events and activities for everyone to enjoy can be found on the park’s website.
- The Government of Canada is investing approximately $5.5 million in federal infrastructure funding to provide new and improved visitor experiences in Point Pelee National Park. The tower and stationary section of the Marsh Boardwalk will be refreshed, and a brand new observation tower will be erected near the Tip to provide an all-new visitor experience of exceptional views of this iconic area of the park.
- To celebrate diversity in 2018, the Government of Canada is also offering free admission to new Canadian citizens for one year with the Cultural Access Pass. Through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass program, new citizens will enjoy free admission to Parks Canada’s locations across the country.