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Regaining ‘normalcy’ priority for Oliver Parks and Rec

Regaining ‘normalcy’ priority for Oliver Parks and Rec


Evan McNiece returns a serve during singles play in Oliver. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)

Normalcy is coming back to the Town of Oliver as the pandemic continues its (loosening) grip on B.C.

Oliver Parks and Recreation is making it a priority to help citizens regain normalcy by returning services as quickly as possible.

While the weight room plans to reopen on June 1, all playgrounds remain closed.

Parks and Recreation manager Carol Sheridan said all of Oliver’s parks, green spaces and trails are open and provide a low-risk opportunity to walk pets, hike, bike and connect with nature.

Public washrooms are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Lion’s Park, Community Park, Kinsmen parking lot and Rotary Park. These facilities are sanitized every three hours, Sheridan pointed out,

The Small Wheels Park, off-leash dog park and outdoor fitness equipment in Lion’s Park and the Community Park ball diamonds have reopened for passive use only (no organized play). However, it is essential that people respect the terms of use if these facilities are to remain open. That includes physical distancing (minimum 6.5 feet), strong hand hygiene, and no group gatherings. And above all, no visiting of parks if you are feeling unwell or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Tennis players are enjoying the reopening of the courts for casual drop-in and pickleball play. (Only single or doubles from the same household are allowed.) This week, brothers Damon and Evan McNiece from Mount Baldy took advantage of the courts to stay in shape during the pandemic.

Sheridan said they are currently working on a plan to reopen the community weight room on June 1.

The first phase of reopening will be for current members only, who will need to book their workout times in advance to ensure social distancing.

Sheridan said they are developing a framework for reopening recreation facilities, such as the community centre and pool.

“This framework follows a cautious, phased approach that allows time within each level of service to adjust plans if needed and ensure that all protocols are working and that no community outbreaks occur as a result of increased activity.”

The administration office will reopen for public access during regular business hours starting June 1.

In order to maintain safe physical distancing, only one customer at a time will be allowed in the office.

Staff continue to take registrations online and over the phone for summer camps and other outdoor programs such as yoga, Tai Chi, canoeing lessons and Tiny Trekkers (set to start in June).

Sheridan said they are prepared to issue credits to account or full refunds for future registered programs and services that need to be cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.

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