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Many Okanagan jurisdictions plan to reopen playgrounds June 1

More than a dozen Okanagan jurisdictions plan to reopen playgrounds on June 1.
More than a dozen Okanagan jurisdictions plan to reopen playgrounds on June 1. Global News

The caution tape and fencing that have blocked off many Okanagan playgrounds will soon be coming down.

More than a dozen Okanagan governments are planning a coordinated reopening of playground equipment that has been off limits for months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The plan is to reopen the playground equipment on June 1, the same day schools across B.C. partially resume classes.

Central Okanagan Public Schools has confirmed that it will also be reopening school playgrounds that day.

Dr. Bonnie Henry on ensuring safety at B.C. school playgrounds
Dr. Bonnie Henry on ensuring safety at B.C. school playgrounds

A joint statement from 13 different Okanagan jurisdictions is asking park users to stay off the equipment until the signage and barriers are taken down, indicating the play equipment is open to the public.

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The reopening does not apply to water parks, which will stay closed for the time being.

READ MORE: “It costs the taxpayer”: Some Vancouver playgrounds fenced off due to COVID-19 scofflaws

The jurisdictions that announced they will jointly be reopening playgrounds on June 1 are:

  • Kelowna
  • Vernon
  • Penticton
  • Lake Country
  • West Kelowna
  • Westbank First Nation
  • Peachland
  • Summerland
  • Penticton
  • Oliver
  • Osoyoos
  • the Regional District of North Okanagan
  • the Regional District of Central Okanagan
  • the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

READ MORE: Playgrounds, outdoor facilities reopening across the Lower Mainland

The District of Coldstream said it has been working on a plan to reopen playgrounds and deal with concerns about high touch points, but does not have a specific date for reopening play structures.

Armstrong Spallumcheen Parks and Recreation said the playgrounds it operates in those communities already reopened on May 15, with signage reminding people to maintain physical distancing.