Since early March, the Vancouver Park Board has been working hard to respond to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic to communities across the city. Via this message we would like to share with you a message from your Commissioners and highlights of our response across both our recreation and parks system. Our Commissioners and staff are grateful to the support being shown by residents during this very challenging time, as we all work together to keep each other safe.
Your health and well-being is our top priority
The health and well-being of the general public is always our top priority at the Park Board. Here are some of the significant proactive measures we’ve taken to keep our communities safe.
· Closed all of our public facilities, including community centres, pool facilities, golf courses, pitch & putt, gardens and concessions.
· Worked on a plan to ensure anyone who has registered for, or paid for, any of our recreational programming that has been impacted by the closures due to COVID-19 will be receiving a refund.
· Cancelled all permitted events at public parks, sports fields and Park Board facilities, with refunds offered to those impacted.
· Created a dedicated page on our website with up-to-date information about any impacts to our services and facilities.
· To reduce crowding in Stanley Park, we closed roads in the park to vehicles and moved cyclists off the seawall onto the car-free roadway in an effort to support physical distancing.
· Closed parking lots at high-traffic parks and beaches, some fenced dog off-leash areas, and all public outdoor recreation facilities within parks and beaches (sport courts and fields, skate parks, and playgrounds) to help minimize public gatherings and the potential risk to the community. Public washrooms at parks remain open and continue to be serviced. For up-to-date info on closures, visit vancouver.ca/covid19impacts
· We’ve launched online social media and traditional media campaigns educating the public on the importance of physical distancing.
· We’ve developed specific COVID 19 messaging to help residents use our beaches and parks safely. As part of our information campaign, seven thousand signs were installed at 240 parks throughout the city to raise awareness and encourage community members to keep social distancing.
· Our Park Rangers are our front-line ambassadors in our parks – they are out in parks across Vancouver reminding people about physical distancing and have provided over 8,000 reminders to date.
· Our staff are whipping up 2,000+ healthy meals each day at the Langara Golf Course for vulnerable residents. We’re proud to be part of the City’s effort to deliver food to people in the Downtown Eastside during the pandemic. The food is being distributed to 11 City operated non-market housing locations to support tenants in accessing healthy, nutritious meals.