September 1, 2017 – Carleton Place — Effective Monday, October 2, 2017 Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) will begin charging a nominal entrance fee at Morris Island Conservation Area (MICA). MICA, an environmental mecca along the Ottawa River, offers a variety of activities throughout all four seasons. The number of visitors has climbed steadily in recent years as more people are taking a friend, their family, dog or just themselves and stepping into nature to improve their physical and mental health.
“The revenue generated from charging entrance fees will be reinvested directly into the continued maintenance and development of roadways, parking areas, trails and other infrastructure within MICA,” said Paul Lehman, MVCA General Manager.
Approximately half of the 300 publicly accessible conservation areas across Ontario have a daily fee associated with using them. When the popularity of a natural area increases, additional resources, both human and financial, are required to properly maintain the area so that amenities don’t become run down or degraded. MVCA does receive municipal funding to help support their programs, including the management of three conservation areas. However, because of MICA’s popularity, additional funds are required to maintain and improve the current level of service and to ensure it remains a safe and enjoyable place for visitors.
“A recent survey indicated that MICA visitors would like to see improvements to road maintenance such as timely snow removal. MVCA will now deliver on that, but there are additional costs associated with providing that service,” said Lehman.
MICA’s regular hours of operation are from dawn until dusk, seven days a week, with bathroom facilities maintained from May to October. As of October 2, when visitors enter the park they will find a pay and display machine located at the entrance to the trail. This new pay and display system will require park visitors to deposit fees (coin or credit card) into a machine to receive a slip which they will then display in the windshield of their vehicle. The daily entrance rate will be $3.00 per vehicle, or visitors will have the option of purchasing an annual pass for $40.00 which also provides admittance to Purdon Conservation Area and the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area where admission is $6.00 per vehicle per day. The annual pass is valid for one year from date of purchase. Annual passes are available at the MVCA office in Carleton Place, or online at www.mvc.on.ca.
MVCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Formed in 1968, MVCA’s mandate is to manage the watershed’s resources in partnership with our eleven member municipalities and the Province of Ontario. For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Community Relations Coordinator
613-253-0006 ext. 225