The Grand River Conservation Authority has been following the COVID-19 pandemic closely and is continuing to take steps to ensure public safety and the well-being of staff and visitors. Effective March 23, all Grand River Parks will be closed to visitors, including membership pass holders as well as day-use visitors, until April 6, 2020.
Our parks staff have observed an increase in visitors. While many visitors have respected social distancing measures, our staff have reported concerns with some large groups of people, illegal parking and people entering areas that are marked as closed.
No pedestrian traffic will be permitted within Grand River Parks during this period of time, and those who enter will be trespassing. Municipal partners are being made aware of these closures. Those who choose to ignore the closures and park outside of the parks on municipal roadways may be subject to fines.
Some of our parks also include dam infrastructure that is vital to the safety of watershed residents. Many of our parks staff also operate and inspect these dams daily, and it is essential that they are able to continue to do so without impediment or risk to their health and safety.
“We are urging the community to respect the closures,” says Lisa Stocco, Manager of Communications. “With the gates closed, and limited staff, we are reminding the public that it will make it difficult for emergency services personnel to assist people within the parks in the event of an emergency. Anyone who chooses to ignore the closure is putting their own safety, and potentially the safety of others at risk.”
The GRCA will continue to monitor developments as well as provincial and local public health recommendations and reassess by April 6, 2020 or as needed.