To support community health and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Capital Regional District (CRD) is asking visitors to Regional Parks and community parks in electoral areas to adhere to the orders and recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). CRD Regional Parks has seen a large increase in visitors in the recent weeks. Though many parks allow for appropriate social distancing measures to be followed, it has been observed that some parks are seeing traffic that does not allow for adherence to proper protocol as ordered by the PHO.
The PHO recommendations and orders include keeping at least two metres of distance between yourself and others and not gathering in groups. While outside for fresh air and exercise, only be close to members of the same household and keep at a distance from everyone else. Responsible use of Regional Parks and Trails may allow them to remain open. Should measures outlined by the PHO not be able to be maintained, parks will have to be closed for public health and safety.
Where we cannot safely keep facilities clean, we may close facilities in the park or restrict access to certain areas. This could include toilets and picnic tables/areas. Effective today, water fountains in regional parks will be turned off and water fountains on regional trails will remain off. All playgrounds are currently closed. Parking lots will remain open to avoid street parking or other potential traffic disruptions.
CRD Regional Parks protects and has the responsibility to manage more than 13,000 hectares of natural areas in our regional parks on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Parks staff will have a more visible presence in the parks to educate the public on proper protocol as directed by the PHO. We also ask that visitors follow proper social distancing and stay two metres away when approaching Parks staff in order for them to continue to fulfill the duties of their job.
We recognize many families and individuals rely on our regional parks, and we ask for your support while we continue to determine next steps as the situation develops. Limited services are still available.
Please see the list below of facilities that are closed in regional parks:
Jordan River Regional Park Campground
Water fountains in all regional parks and trails
All CRD Playgrounds
Editorial Note: Read all official, current and ongoing updates on COVID-19 specifically related to Salt Spring Island on the Salt Spring Exchange under our News > 'Special Alert: COVID-19' News section.