Keji campground will be closed in 2020 to allow for upgrades

By Scott Costen

The campground at Kejimkujik National Park will be closed in 2020 to allow for significant infrastructure upgrades, Region of Queens council heard yesterday.

“The buildings, the facilities, the utilities, sewer, water, etc, have all outgrown their useful life,” site superintendent Jonathan Sheppard said during a presentation. “We are looking to do a major infrastructure investment.”

Sheppard told council: “We’re looking ultimately to tear down all of the 10 washroom buildings throughout the campground and replace those with new washroom and shower facilities.” Underground water and sewer systems will also be updated, he said.

“Socially progressive design” will be used in the overhaul of the Keji campground, with emphasis placed on personal safety, increased personal privacy and universal access. Once work is complete, it will be the first national park in Canada to have fully gender-neutral washrooms, Sheppard said.

While the campground will be closed, the rest of Kejimkujik National Park will remain open in 2020. Visitors will still be able to access the back-country, trails, beaches, eatery, visitor centre, gift shop and park programming, he said.

The overall cost of the project will not be known until final tendering and contract awards take place. Staff levels are not expected to be affected.

Sheppard said park staff will work with the North Queens Board of Trade (NQBT) and individual local businesses to mitigate the impact of the campground’s closure for the 2020 season.

According to a council document, Region of Queens staff will “work with NQBT to re-engage the business community, to work on strategies to ameliorate the possible negative consequences of closure, and develop opportunities also arising from the closure.”