//static.getclicky.com/js

What's Open - What's not -and why: Golf, City Parks, Marina, Conservation Parks

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city opened up – a little today.

golfer swinging

There were golfers at some of the courses on Guelph Line.

The plant merchants were very busy. There were golfers on some of the courses and line up as the driving ranges.

Weather was nice.

3 carts on a slope

Most of the golfers we say were buzzing about in electric carts – 1 person per cart. No one was lugging a golf bag.

The city, for some reason wasn’t as prepared for the opening that everyone knew was coming. Parks and recreation announced on Friday that they have cancelled all of the summer Parks and Recreation program and were starting from scratch to figure out what they might be able to open as the rules from the province are clearer.

The LaSalle Park Marina could be open but won’t be – construction of the new water break is still taking place.

driving range May 16

Golfers at a driving range – wasn’t operated by the city.

The City’s Tyandaga Golf Course is preparing for opening Saturday, May 23, 2020 with COVID-19 safety precautions in place to help keep both golfers and staff safe by minimizing the spread of the virus.

Players wishing to book a tee time can do so online as of Saturday, May 16, 2020 at tyandagagolf.com. Booking by phone can be done starting Tuesday, May 19 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. by calling 905-336-0005.

New Rules and Operations

• Tyandaga will be open daily, 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Online tyandagagolf.com and phone booking for tee times only; no walk-in green fees
• Only credit card or debit cards will be accepted for payments (no cash)
• Food and beverage services will be limited to window take-out service only. Dining area is closed.
• No group events or tournaments at this time
• Clubhouse will be closed except for washrooms and pro-shop area. Only one person allowed in pro-shop and washroom at a time
• One person per power cart
• Lessons, practice greens, practice chipping area and rental clubs will not be available at this time
• Sand bunker rakes have been removed. Any shots in the bunker are a free drop
• All high-contact surfaces are regularly sanitized such as the payment terminals, all service-related surfaces, power carts and bathrooms
• All machinery will be sanitized daily to ensure public and staff safety

City hall had this to say about opening their parks:

Re-opening of the City parks and facilities is something everyone is looking forward to, but we must continue to do it slowly and carefully with the right precautions.

The City of Burlington remains committed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to protect its residents and employees.
While City of Burlington parks were never closed for walk-through traffic, residents can now enjoy a few more casual activities in their local City of Burlington parks and green spaces with members of their own household or groups of five of less, including:

• Playing catch, kicking a soccer ball and flying a kite (not on a soccer field or baseball diamond)
• Sitting on a blanket, grass or lawn chair
• Exercising and stretching on a yoga mat, but not in a class
• Letting young children run and burn off some energy
Facilities, amenities and spaces that continue to be closed in City parks include:
• playgrounds and play structures such as swings, slides, climbers
sports fields such as soccer fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, running tracks
• outdoor exercise equipment
• skateboard parks
• off-leash dog areas
• benches, picnic tables and shelters
• beaches
• marinas and boat launch ramps
• park parking lots and washrooms
• recreation centre grounds and parking lots

Respect the caution tape and keep off playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, tennis and basketball courts. The City has signage and barricades in the entrances of parking lots to block vehicles from parking.

Parking lots remain closed to encourage people to stay in the neighborhood and to help prevent overcrowding at some of our larger parks.

This will be reviewed as we consider additional phased opening of park uses.

Organized sporting activities and training, such as football, softball, ball hockey, soccer, ultimate frisbee and basketball – even if they are not being played on a court or sports field – are still not allowed in City parks. Similar activities that do not allow for proper physical distancing, like running a sports or fitness class in City parks, are not allowed until further notice.

Provincial emergency orders that remain in force include:

• Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
• Closure of public places and establishments
• Closure of outdoor recreational amenities

I didn’t see the words “have fun” anywhere in the city’s words.  They sound like a crabby grandmother.

Sport Facilities

The Province announced some sport organizations are able to resume activities. The City of Burlington will work with our joint venture partners to ensure there are plans in place based on provincial guidelines and their sport governing body’s requirements. The City is also working to ensure these organizations can use the facilities while complying with provincial guidelines and protecting the health of athletes and city staff.

Conservation Halton Parks.

Turtle clan longhouse at Crawford Lake.

Turtle clan longhouse at Crawford Lake.

Few people realize that there are provincially operated parks as well as parks operated by the Halton Conservation Authority. THEY will be opening five of their seven parks for hiking and biking, using a simple reservation system, starting May 22.

Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit (biking only) will be open to members and to the public, for paid access, from 9am-9pm. Other parks and facilities will be added in the coming weeks.

What do I need to do to access the parks now?

The new system that we have mentioned above will allow to us predict and monitor the number of people in the parks through an online reservation platform. From this point forward, parks visitors and members will be required to make a reservation prior to their visit. (The pilot has shown us that this process should take no more than 1 minute.) Here is how it works: After you have made your online reservation, and arrived at the park, you will drive up to the gate and stop. Your license plate will be scanned and the gate will open. If there is any issue with your license plate, a gate attendant will scan the barcode on your ticket. (The pilot has shown us that this process should take no more than 10-15 seconds.)

When can we start making reservations?

Reservations will be open on Wednesday, May 20 or Thursday, May 21. You can visit our website or follow us on social media to be notified when the reservation system is made public.

Why do we need to reserve our park visit in advance?

Being able to predict and monitor the number of people in the parks means that we can create the conditions needed for physical distancing, but this system will offer a number of other benefits, even once things are back to normal. For you, as a visitor, this system will show you which parks are busy and which are not, right down to the minute, before you leave your house. We know it can be frustrating to get ready for a hike, drive out to a park and then be faced with a lineup, so we hope that this system will prevent that. For us, this system will allow us to improve the experience of visiting our parks and reduce the impact that visitors have on our parks for a more efficient, enjoyable and sustainable approach to park management. We want you to enjoy nature when you come to our parks, not wait in line ups.
Why not open the parks all at once?

Trust us when we say that we would if we could. Each of the parks is a little bit different, which means that the improvements to infrastructure and operations are a little bit different for each park. We are working incredibly hard to open as many of the parks as possible, as soon as possible, but this process does take time, so we appreciate your patience, and we promise it will be worth the wait.

How many spots will there be?

With these 5 parks open, we estimate there are about 15,000 timeslots per week available for visitors to reserve, to safely accommodate about 75,000 visitors across the parks, each week. We feel this should be enough to meet the needs of our members, and the public, however we welcome suggestions through a post-visit survey on how we can continue to adjust our model.
Can I get a refund on my membership?

Halton escarpment - long view up slope

One of the views from the top of Mt Nemo

Conservation Halton Parks memberships will be extended for the duration of the park closures but memberships are (and have always been) non-refundable. Considering that memberships provide access to the parks for an entire year, that the parks were closed for just a few weeks, that memberships pay for themselves in just a few visits and that we are extending memberships for the duration of the park closures, we are confident that you will still be able to find value in them. Memberships will resume on May 22.

When will the extension be added to my membership?

With parks open on May 22, memberships will be back in effect, and the full duration of the park closures will be added to your membership, automatically. There is nothing you need to do to receive this extension.

What about camping and picnicking?

With facilities still closed, we are not currently able to offer camping. Picnicking in the parks is permitted, as long as physical distancing is practiced, visit time limits are respected and no trash is left behind. Also, picnic tables will not be accessible, so you will need to bring your own blanket. We also expect all visitors to follow Provincial Orders and Guidelines related to group sizes when gathering for any activities and staying within their household groups. As the Province updates these guidelines, we will offer more activities and options at our parks.
What about the Bruce Trail that goes through Conservation Halton Parks?

The Bruce Trail Conservancy has recently started to open some sections of the trail. As of May 22, if a part of the Bruce Trail passes through one our parks, which is open, that part of the trail will be accessible. If a part of the trail passes through one of our parks, which is still closed, that part of the trail will not be accessible.

Over all rules for everyone and everything
It has been said 100 times – and it will be said again:

Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most important steps everyone needs to take. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t move on its own; it needs people to move it. Remember to:

• Keep two metres away from others – about the length of a hockey stick
• Move to the right on pathways to make room for others to pass safely
• Carry out your garbage whenever possible

Do that and we can flatten that virus infection curve – we are still seeing new infections daily at the 300+ level

Residents who see groups of more than five people gathering or individuals using outdoor recreational facilities that remain closed can call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID hotline to file a report at 905-825-4722.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 comments to What’s Open – What’s not -and why: Golf, City Parks, Marina, Conservation Parks

  • Maggie Steiss

    Sorry Penny but I do not agree with forcing people to wear a mask in public. It must remain a personal choice. Forcing people is completely unacceptable and must not be tolerated. I for one will never tolerate such a law.

  • Maggie Steiss

    I do find a few issues. For Tyandaga. First let me make it clear I am not a golfer having no interest in the game. That said there are two things I question. First is closing at 3, What is the reasoning for closing so early. Surely that is not a normal time and for those who are still working that would mean they are left out. Second the only one person per golf cart. That may be taking things a bit far. If a couple who lives together they should be able to share a cart. That would be more energy efficient. Also I think people should make their own decisions about risk factor.
    Now on to the parks. You can kick around a soccer ball but not on the actual field. Doesn’t seem at all logical. Are you going to social distance in a park more than on a field. Tennis courts are closed. Tennis is not a close sport in fact players are far apart. Even with double you are rarely close. Just skip the polite handshake at the end of the match. Boat launch ramps are open in other areas including Hamilton so why not Burlington. Ditto for off leash dog parks. You are allowed to practice yoga on a mat in the park but not in a class. If everyone in the class stays the required 6 feet from each other what difference does it make if someone is leading the group or not.
    I see a real problem for the reservation system at conservation parks. If making a reservation is dependent on a licence plate then how do you accommodate people who do not drive in. Perhaps you don’t drive and prefer to take a taxi or Uber. Perhaps you wish to ride your bike to the park. Will the online reservation system make allowances for this or will you be denied a ticket if you don’t provide a licence plate number. How do you handle things if people don’t arrive at the exact time of their ticket. Perhaps they get stuck in unexpected traffic. Perhaps they leave early in anticipation of problems or not knowing the exact amount of time it takes to drive to the park and then get there so early that they are stuck waiting in line anyway. Also once you are in the park is there a time limit and how do account for the fact that people walk or ride at different paces.

  • “crabby grandmother” rather than “crabby grandparent” is too sexist for the Pepper Parr we know LOL Although if a vote was taken in our household Grannie Annie would probably win the title hands down.

    Editor’s note: It was a turn of phrase – the political correctness out there is pretty thick.

  • Penny Hersh

    My concern has been that once things started opening up that residents would not do what they should to protect themselves and others.

    Today, there was a huge lineup for ice cream at La Creme de la Creme on John Street. The lineup outside of the shop snaked all around the street and around the corner. No physical distancing was taking place and no one was wearing a facial mask.

    Yesterday evening ( Friday), about 5 or 6 cars of residents( about 15 people) came together in the parking lot across from Emma’s and stood in the parking lot some drinking and all socializing once again no physical distancing or masks.

    Perhaps it is time for the Ontario Government to mandate that everyone wear a fabric mask when out in public?

    • Phillip Wooster

      Sad to hear. Yesterday I was at Rondeau PP and there were a lot of birders and cottagers in attendance but for the most part, people were respecting distancing. At first glance, it might appear that this was not the case but family groups were keeping distant from other family groups–was it perfect? No—but much better than the complete shutdown at Pelee (incidentally although the entrance was torn up with construction, a federal employee spent 8 hours each day just sitting there guarding the entrance!?!?!) but of course, at Pelee we are talking THIS federal government.