Our History

Alberta's parks system is shaped by its past. The first provincial park legislation was enacted in 1930. Early parks were small recreation sites providing scenic spots for Albertans to swim and picnic.

The main focus of Alberta's parks network continued to be recreation throughout its formative years. Later, public interest focused on preserving the province's natural heritage as a legacy for future generations.

Alberta's parks system includes a spectrum of sites ranging from intensively developed recreation areas to pristine wilderness. These areas preserve natural landscapes, ecological processes and biological diversity. They also provide opportunities for heritage appreciation, outdoor recreation and heritage tourism. Parks are special places where Albertans and visitors can experience, learn about, understand and enjoy our natural heritage.

Birth of Alberta's Parks System

Growth of Alberta's Parks System

Expanding from Recreation to Preservation

More Expansion

Special Places

Sites Designated Under Special Places Program Map (with designation dates and Natural Regions)

Recent Developments

Since 2001, we have continued to pursue establishment of new parks through collaboration with local communities and partners. 

Alberta's Plan for Parks, a strategic blueprint for managing Alberta's parks system over a 10-year period, was released in 2009.

Updated: Feb 7, 2017