B.C. provincial park campsites and day-use facilities like washrooms were closed March 24. (Black Press files)

Provincial parks to reopen amid COVID-19 in time for Victoria Day long weekend

All of Langley’s regional parks – except Brae Island – remain open to the public

Most provincial parks are set to reopen on the eve of the Victoria Day long weekend – May 14 – for day-use only with many remaining facilities, including campgrounds, reopening June 1.

The province shut its parks down to all visitors April 8, on the advice of RCMP, local governments and search and rescue organizations.

Restoring services closed for COVID-19 public health measures now depends on continued success in keeping infection rates low.

In his “restart B.C.” announcement May 6, Premier John Horgan said some B.C. parks will be open in time for the long weekend that is the traditional start to camping season – for day use only.

“Let’s enjoy that, but let’s stay close to home,” Horgan cautioned. “This is not the time for a road trip to another community for a hike or a holiday. If you have a provincial park in your area, by all means, visit it. Do not travel great distances. We need to stay close to home. That is a key part of our recovery.”

Campgrounds and day-use facilities like washrooms had already been closed as of March 24, official concluding that the B.C. parks system is too vast to enforce public health rules on gatherings, and there were reports of parties and other unregulated activities.

A full list of B.C.’s provincial parks and protected areas with operation status is here.

READ MORE: Langley Scout camp offered as emergency site

While Langley is not home to a Provincial Park, several regional parks cover the Township with hiking trails, picnic facilities, and off-leash dog areas.

Campbell Valley, Aldergrove Regional Park, and Derby Reach are just some of the regional parks which are operated by Metro Vancouver – have remained open during the pandemic.

Only Brae Island remains closed in the Langley area – one of two parks operated by Metro Vancouver – due to its close proximity with Kwantlen First Nation.

Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, said Metro Vancouver has made every effort to keep regional parks open during COVID-19.

“We recognize their value for connecting with nature, reducing stress and maintaining physical and mental well-being,” Dhaliwal said. “It is up to all of our visitors to do their part and keep each other and our staff safe during this critical time.”

Parks visitors are asked to follow these guidelines:

• Choose parks in your own area – do not travel across the region

• Walk, bike, or take transit to avoid contributing to traffic and parking issues

• Maintain physical distance of at least two metres from others at all times, including in parking lots

• Dispose of tissues and other waste in designated garbage bins

• Pack it in, pack it out – do not leave any items behind in parks

• Comply with closures of playgrounds, nature play areas and picnic shelters

• Wash or sanitize hands frequently during the day and upon returning home

• Stay home if you are sick

Metro Vancouver added that they have increased staffing, traffic management and signage at all parks and continues to monitor and manage visitor behaviour – reassessing the status of each regional park on an ongoing basis.

As for Parks Canada, camping, group activities and events at all national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas are suspended until May 31, 2020.

The current suspension of visitor services and vehicle access by visitors, as well as the temporary closure of visitor facilities, will remain in place until further notice – including Fort Langley National Historic Site.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

CoronavirusLangleyparks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Walnut Grove’s Shawn Meehan (front) has started another band, Trigger Mafia. This local country rocker has put country on the shelf, and is going hard-core rock with this group, releasing their first single last Friday to radio. It started as a way to pass the time during the COVID lockdown, and evolved. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley musician drives rock revival with COVID twist

Trigger Mafia goes straight from the garage to radio with raw lyrics

Statue of Lady Justice outside B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Black Press Media files)
Accused mother was sad, frustrated, not eating before daughter’s death, court hears

The accused’s ex-boyfriend talked about her state of mind

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Newbie Conservative candidate split Langley East vote and allowed socialist ‘hordes’ to win seat

Letter writer suggests candidate should have ‘earned’ his political stripes before running for office

Brian Edward Abrosimo, a convicted child kidnapper. (VPD photo)
Child kidnapper threatened to slit his own throat in halfway house

Brian Abrosimo had his release revoked in August

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Sex offender who viewed underage girls as slaves has prohibitions cut from 20 to 10 years

Appeal court reviewed the case of Kyler Bryan David Williams, 29

Most Read