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Metro Vancouver reminds visitors about social distancing in regional parks, announce some closures

We can continue to enjoy our beautiful local regional parks - if we do so safely
Metro Vancouver has closed the parking lots at Boundary Bay Regional Park, Deas Island Regional Park and Delta Heritage Airpark in the City of Delta as of Wednesday morning. Delta Optimist file photo

Metro Vancouver is reminding the public to respect the directives from the Provincial Health Officer and to practice physical distancing at all times, even when they are enjoying the outdoors.

The reminder follows the closure of parking lots at Boundary Bay Regional Park, Deas Island Regional Park and Delta Heritage Airpark in the City of Delta as well as the full closure of Brae Island Regional Park in the Township of Langley.

All of the closures fall in line with both municipalities that have declared a local state of emergency.

All other Metro Vancouver regional parks are currently open, though park facilities such as playgrounds, docks, rental facilities and picnic areas are closed.

Metro Vancouver has increased staffing, parking lot traffic management and signage at regional parks. Park users are being reminded to practice physical distancing and to regularly wash their hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The majority of Metro Vancouver regional parks remain open because we understand that spending time in nature is a good way to reduce stress and take care of both your physical and mental health,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Metro Vancouver board chair. “However, all visitors must respect the direction of the Provincial Health Officer and practice physical distancing to mitigate the spread of the virus and prevent further restrictions at regional parks.” 

To ensure regional parks remain open, park users are asked to follow these clear and simple instructions:

  • Maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others, including in parking lots and trail entrances
  • Comply with closures of playgrounds, nature play areas and picnic shelters.
  • Wash or sanitize hands frequently during the day and upon returning home from our Regional Parks.
  • Dispose of any tissues in designated garbage bins.

If you are sick, please protect others by staying home and not visiting our Regional Parks until you are well.

“As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, every one of us must adapt our daily behaviors to reduce the burden on our healthcare system,” said John McEwen, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee. “Metro Vancouver will continue to monitor and manage visitor behaviour in all of its parks, and will take the necessary action to protect public health and safety throughout the system. We are all in this together – everyone needs to do their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”

Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks system consists of 23 regional parks, five greenways, two ecological conservancy areas and two regional park reserves in communities from Bowen Island to Maple Ridge.

Across Metro Vancouver, individual municipalities have acted to close public playgrounds and recreation facilities. Additionally, BC Hydro announced the closure of their recreation facilities, including Buntzen Lake near Port Moody, on March 23. Some municipalities, like Delta, have also closed all school playgrounds as well.

With additional reporting from the Tri-City News and V.I.A.

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