The Strathcona Regional District is working on a plan to open more parks and outdoor facilities.
The district says it’s part of B.C.’s Phase 2 reopening Plan, adding that it’s focusing on protocols to initiate openings of fields, tennis courts, basketball courts and skateparks that are currently closed.
“The SRD is proud to have continued to provide parks services during the provincial state of emergency with the majority of our parks and trails remaining open for public use,” said Aniko Nelson, SRD’s senior manager of community services.
“Where our facilities have been impacted by Public Health orders, the SRD is focused on working within the health guidelines and provincial directives to have these facilities open as soon as we are advised that it is safe to do so.”
Timelines for opening these outdoor facilities and parks amenities will be based on guidelines and industry standards developed by the province and the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association.
They will only be opened once appropriate signage encouraging physical distancing and proper self-sanitization protocols are in place.
Indoor recreation facilities, outdoor fitness equipment, and playgrounds remain closed at this time, pending further guidance from the province.
SRD parks and trails are open with the exception of the following which remain closed, pending further guidance from the province:
- Mitlenatch Park and playground – Electoral Area D,
- Hagel Park playground, fitness equipment and tennis/basketball courts – Electoral Area D,
- Blenkin Park facilities (playgrounds, swings, tennis/basketball court and skatepark) – Electoral Area C, and
- Cortes Island Skatepark – Electoral Area B.
In addition to the above, Electoral Area D – Maple Park Community Garden remains closed to the public, however, the province has identified community gardens as an essential service due to them being an important food source for the users.
As a result, the community garden is open to its existing members only with enhanced safety protocols in place.
The SRD says it “encourages residents to use parks and facilities that are open in their neighbourhoods or in close vicinity to their residences to limit travel”
While in SRD parks and trails you’re asked to practise social distancing by staying at least 2 meters or six feet apart from other park users.
Preliminary studies have shown COVID-19 can live up to three days on plastic and steel surfaces.
You’re urged to take extra precautionary measures and practice self-sanitizing if touching public surfaces such as rails, handles etc.
If you are feeling unwell or have been in contact with someone positive for COVID-19, you shouldn’t use SRD parks and trails.
Parks are being routinely inspected and any park closures or social distancing violations observed are being addressed. To stay informed, click here.