CRD urges compliance to keep parks open

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The Capital Regional District is calling for visitors to CRD regional and electoral area parks to make the decision to choose a park close to their home and demonstrate responsible use in order for parks to remain open.

“Park status is being assessed daily. Visitors must adhere to the orders and recommendations of the provincial health officer to stay local and ensure social distancing. Should these orders or recommendations not be maintained by park visitors, there could be restricted access or use,” states a notice from the CRD issued Thursday.

BC Parks made the decision to close all provincial parks Wednesday for an indefinite period as users were not practising the proper protocols.

The PHO recommendations and orders include keeping at least two metres of distance between oneself and others and not gathering in groups. CRD staff have observed that the vast majority of parks visitors are adhering to social distancing protocol in their jurisdiction. However, there are some areas where social distancing isn’t being practiced. In particular, cyclists and runners need to ensure a safe distance when passing other visitors, and dog owners should ensure their dog is under effective control or on leash.

Visitor use of CRD parks continues to remain high and with the long weekend approaching, visitors need to do their part to ensure responsible park use including:

  • Stay at home if sick
  • Restrict groups to members of the same household
  • Keep two metres apart from other visitors
  • Consider using a leash for dogs at all times – even in leash optional areas
  • Yield to other users on bridges, stairs and narrow sections
  • Cyclists and runners give notice and practice social distancing when passing other visitors
  • Stay to the right of the trail in a single file
  • Consider visiting local parks or trails during less busy times

The CRD will continue to have a more visible presence in the parks to encourage responsible parks usage by educating visitors about social distancing, monitoring visitor use and continuing to enforce park bylaws. CRD parks visitors can expect to see increased presence of park interpreters, park rangers and CRD bylaw officers over the long weekend.

For updated information on the CRD’s response to COVID-19, visit www.crd.bc.ca/covid.

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