Metro Vancouver has closed two more regional parks and is advising people in Maple Ridge who want to walk, bike, or run over the long weekend to stay close to home and prevent COVID-19 spread.
“If you want to visit a regional park, stay local and do not travel across the region to visit a park,” said a parks spokesperson.
“Despite great weather in the forecast, visitors are encouraged to choose parks in their own neighbourhood and not travel further afield to popular destinations.”
Deas Island and Boundary Bay Regional Park in Delta are now closed to the public, joining Barnston Island park in Surrey and Brae Island near Fort Langley.
All other Metro Vancouver Regional Parks remain open – including Kanaka Creek and Pitt River Regional Greenway – although park facilities such as playgrounds, docks, rental facilities and picnic areas are closed.
PARKS ALERT: Most #RegionalParks are open this long weekend. Please follow Provincial Health Officer guidance and stay close to home this long weekend – choose parks in your own area. #DeasIsland, #BoundaryBay, #BarnstonIsland & #BraeIsland are CLOSED. https://t.co/DZsKgSXnm6 pic.twitter.com/XfdjtMoUtP
— Metro Vancouver (@MetroVancouver) April 10, 2020
The parks system has increased staffing and posted over 300 signs amid parks to remind people to keep their distance from each other during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Large signs displaying a cougar and bald eagle exemplify the 2-metre distance people are being asked to keep.
“Together we make the region strong, but if we want parks to remain open, we must all do our part, and stay apart.”
Metro Vancouver will continue to monitor park conditions, visitation, and health authority direction daily to determine if additional actions are required to manage safe access to its regional parks.
Those who are sick are asked to stay home.
Additionally, parking lots at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve will be shut during the Easter weekend.
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.
To ensure 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.