Irrigation Lake is one of the District of Houston’s outdoor recreation sites open again for public use. (District of Houston photo)

District opens some parks for public use

But COVID-19 precautionary measures are in place

The District of Houston has opened some of its parks and outdoor recreation sites, advising users to adhere to COVID-19 pandemic precautions.

The list, as of May 15, takes in Steelhead Park, Jamie Baxter Park, Four Seasons Park and Irrigation Lake.

But Bymac Park and its campsites remain closed for the time being.

The openings fall in line with the decision by the provincial government to open a number of its parks and sites to day use only with camping sites scheduled to open June 1.

“We are keeping Bymac Park closed to all traffic, and will be reconsidering this closure prior to the planned June 1 reopening of provincial campgrounds,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

Also off limits for now are playgrounds, playground equipment and sports fields.

District employees have regular sanitation protocols in place but the District is strongly encouraging users to wash their hands regularly and use sanitizer especially after using a public restroom.

“We ask that residents respect the continued closure of all other parks, including Bymac Park,” the District noted in a release.

“Your continued patience and cooperation with District staff to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the well-being of our community is appreciated.”

Along with hand-washing, people are being asked to refrain from participating in group activities, maintain six metres of distance between other park users and sanitize any items they might use.

The pool and fitness centre remain on the District’s closed list with staffers in close contact with various agencies regarding guidelines and guidance for an eventual resumption of activities.

“We expect to see these approved guidelines in early June,” a Facebook notice from the District’s leisure services department notes.

“Our staff require time to re-enter their respective positions with additional training on adequate social distancing, personal protective equipment requirements and updating policy and procedure training protocols. Please understand these processes take time and we appreciate your patience,” the post added.

Facility memberships continue to be extended month by month and passes aren’t affected.

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