Playgrounds and active recreation facilities in Summerland have now been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trails, green spaces and beaches remain open, provided users maintain a social distance of at least two metres from each other. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland closes playgrounds

Skatepark, playgrounds and other facilities closed as community responds to COVID-19 pandemic

Summerland’s active parks have now been closed.

The closure, which applies to playgrounds, the skatepark and sporting facilities, took effect on March 24 at noon in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are loathe to see the closing of our outdoor recreational facilities because outdoor activity is important to both physical and mental wellness,” Summerland mayor Toni Boot said. “It is unfortunate that the lack of compliance by some means the loss of the use of municipal facilities for the majority who are adhering to the provincial social distancing mandate. However, this is a matter of public health and safety.”

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Among the parks and facilities included are Summerland Skatepark, Julia Street Park playground, Memorial Park playground, Living Memorial Park, Peach Orchard Campground playground and pickleball and tennis courts, Peach Orchard Beach Park playground, Kin Park playground, Powell Beach Park playground and tennis courts and Dale Meadows Sports Complex playground and basketball hoops.

Living Memorial Park and Dale Meadows Sports Complex remain open for passive use.

The closures come in the wake of complaints from the public that some users, especially at the skatepark, have been clustered together much closer than the two-metre social distancing mandate.

Municipal staff will monitor the parks to ensure compliance, said Anthony Haddad, chief administrative officer for Summerland.

“Access to public trails green spaces and beaches is still possible, but to ensure they remain open, our residents will need to make sure they do not gather in groups, keep two metres (six feet) apart and take every precaution possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Haddad said.

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