As Ontario loosens safety restrictions amid the coronavirus crisis, provincial parks opened-up Friday for limited use by the public, including many in the Kingston region.
Popular local locations like Frontenac, Charleston Lake and Sandbanks are among those swinging their gates open.
But those facilities will have to follow strict public safety rules. Robin Reilly is the park superintendent at Sandbanks east of Picton in Prince Edward County.
“This is primarily a beach park — Sandbanks — but beaches are currently closed, so we’re opening to allow people to walk and to use our trails but not to use the beaches and the parking associated with that. So, it is a much smaller piece of the park that people are accessing when they come here.”
Reilly says this is just the first step in a limited opening. This is a new situation for everyone so taking it slow makes sense.
“The idea here really for us is that we’re trying to do our part to allow people to get physically and mentally healthy by being out in nature and walking. Again, it doesn’t mean putting your beach towel down, doesn’t mean having bar-b-ques, it doesn’t mean having campfires and sing-a-longs, it means getting some exercise and the fresh air and going home again and somebody else coming in.”
“As we continue to make progress in our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are carefully and cautiously reopening the province, starting with certain businesses and retailers, and now our provincial parks and conservation reserves,” Premier Doug Ford said in a statement May 9.
There is still no camping at provincial parks, with visits being restricted to day-use only. As far as private parks where people rent space for RV’s and camper trailers for the summer, the government has said they may open as of May 16 but only for people with a full-season contract and only for necessary preparations for the season.
–With a file from Ryan RoccaView link »