NCC implements innovative measures to enhance Gatineau Park experience and conservation
The National Capital Commission (NCC) has taken a proactive stance in ensuring the preservation of Gatineau Park's natural ecosystems while enhancing visitor experiences through the implementation of the Gatineau Park Parkways Program. This initiative, launched in 2022 following the adoption of the new Gatineau Park Master Plan, has garnered attention for its forwardlooking approach to conservation and accessibility.
One of the primary aims of the program, as described by Clémence Grevey, a Strategic Communications Advisor, is to strike a balance between facilitating access to the park and fostering harmonious coexistence among diverse visitor groups. This multifaceted approach underscores the NCC's commitment to both ecological stewardship and visitor satisfaction. Key measures within the program include a reduction in the speed limit along the parkways, the application of clear pavement markings to delineate designated roadways, and an enhancement of the "Share the Road" campaign. These initiatives collectively contribute to a safer and more organized flow of traffic within the park, promoting both visitor safety and environmental well-being.
To further improve accessibility, the NCC introduced a new shuttle program, allowing visitors to traverse the park with ease. In addition, partnerships with third-party providers have led to the availability of alternative transportation options, such as electric-assisted bikes and specialized equipment catering to individuals with disabilities. The introduction of these alternative means of transportation not only reduces the ecological footprint but also ensures inclusivity for all park visitors.
The successful pilot shuttle project initiated in 2022 marked a significant step towards providing a more robust and sustainable transportation service within the park. Following its positive reception, the NCC collaborated with the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) to expand shuttle services from 20 days in 2022 to 30 days in 2023, with plans for further expansion in 2024.
While the park's prominent destinations remain accessible through municipal roads or alternative entry points seven days a week, the NCC's commitment to ensuring equitable and sustainable access for all remains steadfast. The Gatineau Park Parkways Program continues to evolve, guided by the principles of the Gatineau Park Master Plan and Clémence Grevey's assertion that "we have the responsibility to preserve its health for future generations."
Photo caption: Pink Lake in Gatineau Park: a cherished jewel of natural beauty in Gatineau.
Photo credit: Tashi Farmilo