Remember when parks were closed? That foggy time in March and April where a bounty of cherry blossoms filled the canopy and no one was there to photograph them? When ‘going for a walk’ meant taking a stroll from the refrigerator to the living room instead of a forest or marshland trek? To make sure that type of lockdown doesn’t happen again, you can heed this advice to help keep Metro Vancouver Parks open:
Help Keep Metro Vancouver Parks Open
“Metro Vancouver has kept regional parks open as outlets for people to safely enjoy the outdoors, but we are seeing too many visitors neglecting physical distancing guidelines, raising the risk of community virus transmission,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. “As Dr. Henry warned earlier this week, we must keep our physical interactions to about 60% of normal in order to avoid a major spike in new cases.”
Beach parks, especially White Pine Beach at Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park and Boundary Bay Regional Park, have experienced high demand, especially on weekends, leading to local traffic, parking and physical distancing challenges.
Parks visitors are asked to follow these guidelines:
- Choose parks in your own area – do not travel across the region
- Avoid beach parks – explore nearby trail-based parks instead
- Walk, bike, or take transit to avoid contributing to traffic and parking issues
- Maintain physical distance of at least two metres from others at all times, including in parking lots
- Dispose of tissues and other waste in designated garbage bins
- Pack it in, pack it out – do not leave any items behind in parks
- Wash or sanitize hands frequently during the day and upon returning home
- Stay home if you are sick
All Metro Vancouver Regional Parks are open. Metro Vancouver has increased staff patrols, sanitation of high-touch surfaces, traffic management and continues to monitor and manage visitor behaviour. Staff are reassessing the status of each regional park on an ongoing basis.
Amenities including playgrounds, picnic shelters, group camps and reservable facilities are open, and some nature programs have resumed with modifications.
Parking restrictions are in place at select parks and municipalities have ramped up parking enforcement in residential areas near regional parks.
Check the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks website for the latest advisories.