The playground at Summerland Middle School is closed in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. School boards, municipal governments and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen have all closed playgrounds and other facilities during the pandemic. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland to begin reopening amenities

Summerland Skatepark will reopen on May 15; other facilities to follow

The municipality of Summerland is beginning to reopen public facilities which had been closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Summerland’s beaches, trails, boat launch and casual use parks remained open during the provincial health emergency, other facilities had been closed.

After careful consideration and in accordance with Provincial health requirements and recommendations, the District will be taking a cautious approach to reopening of outdoor spaces and facilities, beginning with the following:

• May 15 –The Summerland Skatepark will be open from dawn until dusk

• May 16 – Outdoor washrooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Peach Orchard Beach, Rotary Beach and Memorial Park

• May 23 – Powell Beach Park Gate and outdoor washroom will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• May 23 – Powell Beach Park Tennis Courts

• May 23 – Peach Orchard Campground Pickleball/Multi-use Courts

• June 1 – Peach Orchard Campground

READ ALSO: Summerland closes playgrounds

READ ALSO: COVID-19 prompts closures in Summerland

Visitors are expected to ensure physical distancing of a minimum of two metres and to not attend if they are sick or experiencing symptoms.

Signs will be on display regarding requirements. If overcrowding or other issues arise, the municipality may be required to close these spaces.

“Enhanced cleaning protocols and educational signage will be put in place for public washrooms,” said Anthony Haddad, Summerland’s chief administrative officer. “Bylaw enforcement staff will be monitoring all parks and amenities over the May long weekend to ensure protocols in place are respected.”

Other district park amenities such as playgrounds, spray park, basketball courts, volleyball courts and Giant’s Head Mountain park gate remain closed, as well as organized sports and park rentals until enhanced protocols have been determined.

The Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre and Arena also remain closed.

The municipality is working with various agencies such as the BC Parks and Recreation Association, viaSport, National Lifesaving Society and Municipal Insurance Association of BC under the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer to establish and implement the necessary protocols for a safe return to social and physical recreation activities needed to boost community health and resilience.

“Summerland has many outdoor recreational spaces within its municipal boundaries, and we want the community to enjoy these amenities,” said Summerland mayor Toni Boot. “District staff continue to follow the directives of the B.C. public health officer and will be ensuring that all healthy and safety protocols as reopening progresses are in place. While we encourage residents to use our parks and trails, it is with the expectation that folks will continue to do their part in slowing the transmission of the coronavirus.”

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