The popular park on the edge of St. Albert is globally recognized as an important bird and biodiversity area that supports recreation opportunities like hiking and bird-watching.
The Government of Alberta is investing $160,000 under the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park Management Plan to support the facility improvements and the development of a new nature trail.
The management plan also builds on recent inclusion and accessibility investments, including last year’s upgrades to the John E. Poole boardwalk inclusion trail and parking lot.
“The Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park is a beautiful and unique natural wonder, and a prime example of how conservation and recreation can coexist in harmony. The newly completed management plan lays out exciting possibilities for the park’s future and I’m especially proud that this plan also supports inclusion and access for people with disabilities.”
The park is named after Alberta’s 15th lieutenant-governor, Lois Hole, a beloved businesswoman, academic, professional gardener and best-selling author of more than a dozen gardening guides. Hole passed away in 2005, and the park was established to honour her legacy and accomplishments.
“My mother would be very proud to have her name inextricably linked with this wonderful park named in her honour. The lake and wetlands teem with life and are host to more than 220 bird species, including tundra swans, pelicans and great blue herons. As the only urban provincial park in the capital region, this treasured ecosystem is right in our backyard and here for everyone to explore and enjoy.”
Future opportunities identified in the plan include development of a day-use area, additional trails and collaborative monitoring and stewardship programs to protect the park’s sensitive ecosystem. The plan supports nature-based education and maintains the park’s status as a globally recognized Important Bird Area which draws visitors from far and wide.
“Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park is a very special place for everyone in our community. We are excited by the vision outlined in the management plan and appreciate the more inclusive approach. We look forward to ongoing conservation, increased access and additional opportunities for our residents to enjoy the park.”
The park’s John E. Poole Wetland plays an important role in helping Ducks Unlimited Canada advance conservation in Alberta.
“Each year, it provides a place for thousands of nature enthusiasts, visitors and community members to experience wetlands. It also serves as nature’s classroom for Grade 5 students who take part in Ducks Unlimited Canada’s wetland visitation program which provides hands-on learning opportunities for youth so they better understand wetlands’ function and value. We are proud to be a partner in the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park Management Plan. Let’s work together so that these natural assets continue to hold a significant place in our hearts, minds and spirit.”
“We are very excited for the release of the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park plan and associated funding. The park has significant conservation value with its designation as an Important Bird Area and internationally recognized wetlands. We are pleased the plan supports continued protection of the park’s flora and fauna, wildlife viewing and low-impact recreation for residents and visitors.”
- Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park was designated on April 19, 2005, in honour of the late lieutenant-governor Lois Hole.
- The dominant feature of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park is Big Lake, which makes up about 60 per cent of the park.
- The park is recognized as a globally significant Important Bird Area for its abundant and diverse bird populations, especially waterfowl and shorebirds.
- Through a memorandum-of-understanding with Alberta Parks, Ducks Unlimited Canada has constructed interpretive boardwalks to educate visitors about the sensitive ecology of the area.
- There is a wildlife viewing platform along the eastern shore of Big Lake at the mouth of the Sturgeon River.