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The Hon. David Orazietti:
March 28, 2013
Mr. Les Stewart
Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition
Dear Mr. Stewart:
Thank you for your continued interest in Springwater Provincial Park. Your commitment to the park is evident and appreciated.
As you are aware, part of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ September 2012 transformation announcement was the change in designation of a number of provincial parks, including Springwater Provincial Park, from operating to non-operating. In deciding which parks to re-designate, we looked at many factors including low visitation rates, low cost recovery, and the upcoming need for investment in capital upgrades to remain operational.
These decisions were difficult to make, but they are necessary to ensure the ministry’s financial sustainability and help the government balance its budget.
On April 1, 2013, Springwater Provincial Park will be re-designated as a non-operating park. While the park will be gated, it will still be accessible by foot and parking will be available along the park entrance road. Park enforcement and litter pickup will become the responsibility of staff from Bass Lake Provincial Park. Services such as washrooms, running water and grass cutting will no longer be provided.
We encourage visitors and local residents to continue to use Springwater or explore other provincial parks nearby. These include Bass Lake, Mara and McRae Point near Orillia, Earl Rowe near Alliston, Awenda near Penetanguishene and Wasaga Beach Provincial Park in Wasaga Beach. These parks offer vehicle access and day-use opportunities.
The ministry will no longer be maintaining the wildlife facility at the park and we are working closely with Zoocheck Canada to find suitable homes for the animals. Relocation of these animals is ongoing and in the interim they will continue to be housed and cared for at the park.
We will continue to provide access to the WWI cenotaph for ceremonies, special events and maintenance. Also, we will continue to work with the local Royal Canadian Legion and the federal government to ensure the cenotaph is cared for on a regular basis.
The park is a natural area that will continue to contribute to Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas. Springwater will continue to be protected land regulated under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, which will ensure this land is protected for future generations.
Ontario Parks is open to partnership arrangements and would be pleased to review business proposals from potential partners. Given the time and planning involved in preparing a park for operating, it is likely that any partnership arrangement would look to the 2014 operating season. For further information about possible partnerships, I encourage you to contact Ken Lacroix, Project Manager, at: (705) 789-0724 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, thank you for your continued interest in Springwater Provincial Park.
Minister of Natural Resources
c: Ken Lacroix