Nova Scotia's Provincial Parks system now includes over 300 individual park properties located throughout the province. These parks are valuable – economically, environmentally, and socially. Park visitors generate economic benefits through spending in nearby communities while the operation of parks provides local employment. Parks play an important role in conserving biodiversity – plants and animals and the habitats that support them. Our parks also feature a variety of natural settings where people can escape the hustle of urban life, practice physical fitness, appreciate nature, or just have fun.
Day-use parks are generally open from the Victoria Day weekend in May until the end of the Thanksgiving weekend in October. Camping parks operate on a staggered schedule during that time period.
Provincial Parks are marketed under the tagline Discover our nature; a theme that reflects many of the shared values people have for the park system.
Educational programs are offered at 17 camping parks, while more than 150 public events, led by dedicated volunteers, are held annually in parks.
Funding for the Provincial System
The primary source of funding is found in the annual operating budget of the Department of Lands and Forestry. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year this budget was approximately $1.9 million for park planning, development, restoration and promotion. An additional $5 million is spent in the day-to-day operation and staffing at provincial parks.
Entrance and parking at day-use parks, including beaches, is free. Only camping parks, and one community-operated park, Cape Chignecto, generate revenue.