Contracts were awarded for the clean up of provincial parks that were damaged as a result of Hurricane Juan. Many of the harder hit parks that are operated by the Department of Natural Resources are located in the Halifax Regional Municipality and have been closed to the public since the hurricane because of safety issues.
" The department is following through on its goal to get our parks ready to start opening on Friday, May 21," said Natural Resources Minister Richard Hurlburt.
The contract for clean up at Oakfield and Laurie Provincial Parks was recently awarded to R. MacLean Forestry of Antigonish.
For reasons of public safety we ask that you respect the " closed "signs that have been posted in the parks. Many standing trees were seriously weakened by the hurricane and may come down quickly, without warning, crushing anyone or anything in their path. The safety issues will still be a factor in the parks as the weather improves until the clean up is completed. As the frost leaves the ground, trees may become more susceptible to falling. Others may spring back suddenly when trees or debris that had them pinned down break or are cleared by staff. Cleaning up our parks and making them safe is a challenge and dangerous for even the most experienced arborists who cannot always predict when or where a severely damaged tree will fall.
We are also concerned about the safety of our staff who are committed to cleaning up our parks and our forests for you as quickly as possible. Any time someone other than an authorized staff person enters a provincial park he/she not only jeopardizes his/her own safety but the well-being of staff whose attentions are diverted from the serious task of cleaning up our parklands to the business of escorting trespassers out of harm's way. Diverting our human resources also slows down the clean-up process.
Public safety - your safety - and the safety of our staff are priorities that we take very seriously. Please help us out by staying out of our parks and forests so we can get on with the business of making them safe again for you.