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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Point Pelee offers March Break program

by Sylene Argent

Area families and individuals took advantage of the March Break programs hosted at Point Pelee National Park last week, not only as a means of entertainment, but to also learn about conservation and wildlife.

  Over the March Break, Point Pelee was open to allow visitors a chance to form a team to participate in the Amazing Scavenger Hunt. Participants looked for clues to solve riddles in this exciting, yet challenging program. 

In addition to the scavenger hunt, the younger participants were able to roll up their sleeves to create nature-themes craft in the Kids’ Craft Centre. A different craft was hosted each day.

  In addition, families attended a special viewing of the Lorax last Wednesday evening inside the Visitor Center theatre.

  While visiting the park, the March Break program participants would have taken notice of the massive tower being built nearing Point Pelee’s Tip, which will certainly give a birds-eye view of the Canada’s southernmost point of land.  This will be a place where visitors can gather and learn about the park’s diverse natural and cultural history.

  Parks Canada noted it is investing $3 billion dollars over five years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. As part of this program, Parks Canada announced $5.5 million in funding for Point Pelee National Park, specifically in the Marsh Boardwalk and the Tip visitor use areas.

  Being added to the Tip is the brand-new, 80-foot tall viewing tower, which consists of three observation decks. The first deck is eight metres above ground and will overlook Pigeon Bay on the west side of the peninsula, where Leamington can be seen in the distance. The second deck is sixteen metres high and will look out toward Lake Erie’s central basin, where Wheatley can be seen in the distance. The top deck is twenty-four metres high and offers a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view of the entire area, including Point Pelee National Park’s tip, Pelee Island, and a large part of the Pelee Peninsula.

  Park’s Canada’s contractors have moved into the final stages of construction and are conducting all of the necessary safety and structural inspections of the tower, Parks Canada noted. The tower will be opened to the public as soon as it has been certified to be safe, complete, and compliant with all of Parks Canada’s standards for visitor infrastructure. 

  Park’s Canada noted it is understood visitors are eager to experience the new tower, and it is working with contractors to bring the project to completion as soon as possible. 

  The Tip Road and parking lot, which were closed to vehicle traffic during the fall and winter due to the tower construction, have been reopened. 

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