2023 HR Frink Centre Welcome Sign and Parking Gate
October 5, 2023


Quinte Conservation (QC) has made significant improvements to its Conservation Areas (CAs) this year thanks to revenues generated through parking fees.

Funds have allowed for the construction and repairs of bridges and boardwalks, the expansion of parking lots, select trails to be gravel-topped to ensure ease of access for a range of ages and abilities, as well as the installation of new information kiosks featuring interpretive signage, audio walks and Conservation Area Improvement Plans Feedback Form.

“It’s incredible to see the support from our visitors who have been purchasing daily and annual passes. The revenue from the electronic parking gates we recently installed at select Conservation Areas guarantees a maintenance budget to support the preservation and improvement of various essential amenities like ease of access trails, new trails, educational signage and safety features, and structures like boardwalks, bridges, and benches,” says Tammy Smith, QC Corporate Services Manager.

The installation of electronic gates has helped to reduce garbage dumping and vandalism, and has allowed QC to limit the number of users to reduce damage to more sensitive sites like Little Bluff CA. The electronic gates also provide a user-friendly alternative for visitors to pay for parking rather than using the PayByPhone smartphone app, which still exists at select sites. A pay-to-access system for visitors who drive to and park at QC CAs has been in place since 2018.

Electronic parking gates have been installed at the following areas: Potter’s Creek North, Potter’s Creek South, H.R. Frink, Depot Lakes, and Vanderwater. QC has plans to install a gate at Massassauga before the end of 2023. Paid parking via PayByPhone can be found at Sheffield, Macaulay, Beaver Meadow, Sidney, and O’Hara.

“Visitors should feel confident knowing that their parking fees are reinvested back into these treasured areas. It takes a great deal of labour and funding to keep these beautiful spaces so they are open, safe and accessible to the public, and we want to make sure that can continue to happen well into the future,” says Smith. “Visitors who plan on parking at our CAs can expect to pay $6 to park for the day or they can purchase an annual pass for $60, allowing unlimited access to all our CAs for a year from the day of purchase.”

Parking revenues is one of several avenues QC takes to support costly projects and repairs at CAs. QC also applies for grants, pursues sponsorships, and fundraises through events and the annual Adopt-An-Acre campaign.

“It’s not widely known that Quinte Conservation pays property tax on approximately 30,000 acres of land, which includes our Conservation Areas. These spaces are supported by self-generated revenue since much of Quinte Conservation’s municipal levy is allocated to mandated programs like flood forecasting,” says Smith.

QC receives some government support, all of which is used for core-mandated programs including flood and low water forecasting and warning, dam operations, planning, and drinking water source protection. 44% of the 2022 budget was from municipal levy and 16% was from provincial funding. CAs are primarily supported by self-generating revenue. User fees, grants and fundraising made up 38% of the 2022 annual budget supporting education programs, landowner stewardship, tree planting, watershed monitoring, and CAs. 

For more information on parking and annual passes, visit quinteconservation.ca/parking. For visitors who struggle to afford the parking fees, QC has and continues to provide parking passes to all libraries located in the Quinte Watersheds to ensure all can still visit these spaces.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency, serving 18 municipalities in the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers, and Prince Edward County watersheds. QC provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. QC’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at www.quinteconservation.ca.


For immediate inquiries, contact:
Taylor Hermiston
Communications Coordinator
613-968-3434 ext. 123