COVID-19: Coldstream plans on re-opening parks

COVID-19: Coldstream plans on re-opening parks

Flattening of coronavirus curve prompts district to open some spots Mid-May

Coldstream residents can get back out in some local parks and green spaces soon.

Changes could be implemented in mid-May to lift or modify restrictions, as the Provincial Health Officer announced April 17 British Columbia has flattened the COVID-19 curve.

In response to these statements, the District of Coldstream has developed a phased approach for reopening its parks and public spaces while observing a few guidelines.

The first phase would include all park green spaces, including the cemetery, all of which have been closed in the district since March 23.

“We put the brakes on pretty quick when we saw this coming,” Mayor Jim Garlick said.

READ MORE: Coldstream closes public spaces

The initial openings, which will be continually assessed, do not include beaches, boat launches, playgrounds, tennis courts or the skate park.

All equipment and facilities in the parks will remain closed due to high-touch points and an inability to keep enough distance between individuals.

“I realize that the message from the province has been to go outside, but we also need to keep in mind the need to socially distance and allow everyone an opportunity,” Garlick said, as many of Coldstream’s parks are in residential areas and when large number of people are using them it negatively impacts people living in the area.

Many of those who have been restricted access to these local amenities haven’t taken the closures very well.

“A lot of the complaints I’ve been getting aren’t from Coldstream residents, they’re from Vernon residents looking for a place to go,” Garlick said.

Coldstream has many destination parks, used by people throughout the region.

“This is rarely a concern, but with the COVID-19 pandemic calling for the need to social distancing and avoid crowding residents brought up concerns around parking and use of parks.”

With boating season on board, the launch closures are especially hard for water enthusiasts (although Okanagan Lake launches are open).

The Kekuli Bay boat launch, as well as Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, were closed by the province on April 8.

Coldstream also made the decision to close the Kalavista Road boat launch. Otherwise, Garlick said there could be lineups onto Kal Road.

“If you’ve been up to the landfill and seen the issues around the lineups there and people getting upset then you’ll understand.”

While lake access points in Coldstream won’t be opening quite yet, places like Middleton and Creekside Parks will be some of the first to open.

The openings will follow guidelines to respect the health and safety of employees residents and park users, maintaining proper physical distancing and prohibiting the gatherings of no more than 50 people.

Parking lots that are currently closed will remain closed until further notice. The district wants to encourage the use of parks, but said that, “if you need a car, you are going too far.”

“We don’t want people driving into our residential neighbourhoods to access facilities (including the Okanagan Rail Trail),” Coldstream chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel said in a statement.

If park users gather in groups and do not follow social distancing orders, the district may close these parks in the future.

“It’s just making people realize that they need to share as well,” said Garlick, who is hopeful that some normalcy will be achieved sooner than later.

READ MORE: Coldstream’s Westkal Road restricted to locals only


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BoatingCoronaviruslakesparks

Just Posted

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

Most Read