Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

Chapter 10. Interpretation and Outreach
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(10-1) We recommend that Parks Canada add ecological integrity to the "Statement of Purpose for Interpretation and Outreach" as the core purpose of interpretation and outreach. In order to formally entrench the importance of ecological integrity in interpretation, this Statement should be backed by a clear policy that all national, regional, and individual park publications, interpretation programs and facilities reflect the ecological integrity obligation. Parks Canada has included the concept of ecological integrity in the Parks Canada Messages, a national tool which sets guidelines that specify the three groups of messages that must be included in Parks Canada communications. UNDER WAY. The Statement of Purpose has been revised to reflect the Panel's recommendations and will be submitted to Parks Canada's Executive Board for final approval.
(10-2) For each park, we recommend that Parks Canada develop an ecological integrity interpretation and outreach strategy that confirms ecological integrity as the prime objective, presents clear and consistent messages about ecological integrity, balances plans for both interpretation and outreach, and has measurable goals and objectives that can be evaluated on a regular basis (for example, in Implementation Plans or State of the Park Reports). This strategy requires the following elements ... As part of its ongoing efforts to renew its heritage presentation program, Parks Canada is developing strategic approaches to better link the interpretation and outreach programs to the Agency's mandate. The Action Plan for the Renewal of Heritage Presentation in Parks Canada calls upon Field Units to create concise plans detailing the outcomes, audiences, messages, methods and measurement of interpretation and outreach programming. UNDER WAY. The Panel's specific recommendations will be implemented during park-level development of plans and strategic thinking aimed at better linking the interpretation and outreach programs to the ecological integrity mandate.
(10-3) We recommend that Parks Canada make essential interpretation information available to all park visitors at no charge (excluding park entrance fees). Under the current revenue policy, visitors to a park are entitled to a certain range of services by virtue of having paid for entry, including interpretation messages. DONE. This is current policy. Parks Canada will continue to provide essential interpretation information to all park visitors at no charge.
(10-4) We recommend that Parks Canada expand national parks interpretation programs to reinforce efforts aimed at traditional target audiences and to include new strategic target audiences and media. Support strong interpretation programs in terms of personnel, budget, and training. Acknowledge and support the professional status of those who work in interpretation through a national training program focusing on ecological integrity, funding for research and development of presentation programs, and a process for career advancement. Provide funds for interpretation and outreach programs for research, staff, and renewal of these programs to meet interpretation objectives. (Chapter 13.) This would entail ... For the past three years, Parks Canada has been working toward the renewal of its interpretation and outreach function, through the development of the Action Plan for the Renewal of Heritage Presentation in Parks Canada. Its efforts in this area are consistent with those recommended by the Panel. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Parks Canada will continue its efforts toward renewal of the interpretation and outreach function, in support of the ecological integrity mandate. Measures aimed at renewing this function have been included in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. The extent and timing of expanding the interpretation program and addressing the Panel's specific recommendations are subject to the availability of new funding.

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