City of Red Deer opens some outdoor amenities

Great Chief Park remains closed

Following the release of the provincial government’s Relaunch Strategy, the city is opening some outdoor recreation amenities. A long-term, phased approach to opening additional outdoor and indoor amenities and resuming recreation activities is also underway.

“We know Red Deerians are anxious to resume their daily lives, including the use of outdoor and indoor recreation in our community,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “We have developed a local phased approach that is in line with the provincial government’s strategy, and ensures we remain unwavering in our diligence and vigilance to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

The following amenities will open in the coming weeks:

  • Skate parks and disc golf will open May 8.
  • Neighbourhood asphalt pads (tennis, basketball, neighbourhood pickleball) will open in phases starting May 15. They will be available for spontaneous, non-contact, unorganized sport only.
  • Community sport fields remain open for spontaneous use, as long as users comply with the restrictions on mass gatherings and requirement to maintain physical distancing.  Sport fields remain closed for organized use and bookings.
  •  The track near Lindsay Thurber High School remains open for spontaneous use.
  • Great Chief Park (including Setters Place) and Edgar Athletic Park remain closed, with the exception the Pitch ‘n Putt at Great Chief Park which is open for use.
  • In alignment with Phase 1 of AB Relaunch strategy the city is working with community groups that operate some city amenities to re-open in the near future including: Red Deer Tennis Club, Red Deer Pickleball Club, Red Deer Remote Car Club and Red Deer BMX Club.
  • The Waskasoo Environmental Education Society will begin opening aspects of their operations, including a modified Green Deer program, as soon as May 15, more details can be found at https://www.waskasoopark.ca/.
  • The city is working with the OPC Chiropractic clinic at the Collicutt Centre to provide modified access.
  • Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery is exploring options for their reopening.

The ability to keep facilities open will depend on the public’s compliance with provincial public health orders. Users are reminded of the following restrictions and guidelines when using these amenities:

  • Maintain physical distance of 2 metres/6 feet between participants (unless from the same household).
  • Only non-contact, unorganized sport is permitted.
  • Limit participants to 15 people or less.
  • Bring your own equipment and avoid activities that require shared equipment.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands often.

In the coming weeks, staff will perform inspections and maintenance on playgrounds in preparation for a phased re-opening. The exact timing for the opening of playgrounds is still under review, and will depend on provincial guidelines.

The cit continues to plan for the phased opening of other outdoor and indoor amenities, and will share information and updates as timelines are confirmed. The opening of amenities will be based on guidelines and recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as their own risk analysis.

“We are working very closely with the provincial government to understand how to re-open the amenities that we know citizens are eager to return to,” said Allan Seabrooke, city manager. “We know playgrounds are top of mind for many citizens, and we are working hard to develop a plan to allow for the opening of playgrounds; however, with frequent touch points, limited access to hand hygiene options, and cleaning/sanitizing requirements, a careful, methodical plan is needed.” 

More detailed information about the overall municipal strategy for reactivating recreation amenities in Red Deer will be available in the coming weeks. The strategy is entirely dependent on the evolving situation, which can change quickly.

Trail at Bower Ponds/Red Deer Times photo

-news@reddeertimes.ca