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Kingston residents are petitioning to reopen Breakwater Park

Kingston residents are petitioning to reopen Breakwater Park after large group gatherings took place last week, resulting in the 10-day closure. Kayla Karim/Global News

A Kingston man has started a petition to reopen Breakwater Park, which is in the midst of a 10-day closure due to concerns over the potential spread of COVID-19.

The popular waterfront park is used by many, especially those from Kingston General Hospital, but it was fenced off last Friday due to hundreds of students gathering.

John Casnig, who runs local community events, set up a petition to reopen the park as it is a peaceful place for those who are looking to clear their heads during or after a busy shift. Casing says he has even seen some patients and their families walk around the park for some fresh air.

Read more: A seemingly quiet start of the day at Breakwater Park, after Kingston officials fenced it off

In order to make this reopening efficient, though, Casnig wants to see security at the park entrance to only allow people who are returning to KGH — including staff, volunteers, patients and their families — into the park.

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The petition was created online and now has over 200 signatures, along with some comments from local health-care professionals who are in agreement with the idea of reopening for KGH staff and patients only.

Casnig says as someone who was born and raised in Kingston, he has seen the positive effects the park has to offer. He says by having fellow locals supporting him, he hopes to convince other city officials as well such as the police department and the health unit to rethink the closure decision.

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson says the decision to close the park was absolutely necessary. And although there are ongoing conversations on how to safely reopen, there is no official date for when park-goers can return to the green space.

“Ultimately we think that right now the best decision is to keep Breakwater closed… and then at the right time in the right way, be able to look at reopening,” says Paterson.

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