Summer Service Update & COVID-19

Parks and Recreation Service Activation Information Update

COVID-19 Impact on Parks and Recreation Services

On March 16th the Provincial Health Office legislated province-wide restrictions designed to reduce the risk of contracting, and transmitting, the COVID-19 virus. This resulted in the closure of City park amenities and Recreation facilities and services on March 17, 2020. On May 6, Premier Horgan announced the BC Restart Plan and a phased approach to a ‘new normal’ for service delivery across BC. Further, detail on enhanced protocols or conditions for service reactivations is still forthcoming from the Province or Sectoral authorities such as WorkSafeBC, health authorities and provincial/federal sports and recreation organizations.   

Service Activation Information Understanding

Parks and Recreation service activation is subject to a number of regulatory bodies and a few are listed below. In addition, each regulatory authority is determining the way forward and are collaborating with related authorities to ensure success and safety. As we all travel the path back to a ‘new normal’, it is expected that each authority will be updating their service requirements which will impact how Parks and Recreation services have traditionally been delivered. These change may be difficult to understand, or follow, but they are necessary to ensure your safety and Parks and Recreation’s compliance with evolving regulations. We will do our best to provide clear information, as available, so please check back regularly for updates. Please understand that calling or emailing Parks and Recreation will not result in additional information.  

New! COVID-19 Outdoor Services Safety Plan & Policy (PDF)

Regulatory Authorities that guide Parks and Recreation Service Delivery

Province of BC and the Provincial Health Officer

British Columbia Parks and Recreation Association

City of New Westminster Council, Bylaws and Policies

WorkSafeBC

Fraser Health Authority & Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Insurance Providers

Provincial Sports Associations including Hockey, Figure Skating, Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Gymnastics and Swimming

Canadian Red Cross 

BC Centre for Disease Control & Health Canada

Lifesaving Society BC & Yukonl

Recreation Facilities Association of BC

British Columbia Restaurant and Food Services Association

ViaSport BC

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Parks Facilities & Amenities

    See what amenities are open and those that remain closed

    Q. What outdoor facilities and amenities are open?

    A. The following chart is a snapshot of what is open and closed as of June 17. This will be subject to change in the coming months; please check back regularly. Park signage will be in place to indicate restrictions or closures.

    Facility

    Open

    Closed

    Possible Limited Future Opening

    Additional Info

    Moody Park Outdoor Pool

    x

     

     

    Pool is open with restrictions and limited services. Preregistration is required for all pool visits.

    Hume Park Outdoor Pool

    Grimston Park Wading Pool

     

    x

     

    x

     

    Will not open in 2020

     

    Will not open in 2020

    Queen's Park Rose Garden

    x

     

     

    Open to the public and small rental groups.

    Call for details & booking: 604.777.5111

    Picnic Shelters

    x

     

     

    Opened for small rental groups. 

    Call for details & booking: 604.777.5111

    Sports Fields & Mercer Track

    x

     

     

    Starting July 1, 2020 all sport fields are open to organized sport group with the proper permit and return to sport Safety Plan, for the purpose of skill development and training.

    Fields/lights require a booking.


    Competition play and/or games are not permitted at this time.

    Amenities

     

     

     

     

    Basketball

    x

     

     

    Skill practice and casual play only; organized games are not allowed.

    Concessions

    x

     

     

    Eats at the Pier concession at Westminster Pier Park will open. 

    Open daily 11:30 am to 8:00 pm on good weather days (closed when wet), July 4 to September 7

    For updated operating hours, call
    604.527.4634.

    Other concession locations remain closed.

    Queen's Park Farm

     

    x

     

    Will remain closed for summer 2020.

    Lacrosse Boxes

    x

     

     

    Skill practice and casual play only; organized games are not allowed.

    Off-Leash Dog Areas

    x

     

     

    Physical distancing required.

    Outdoor Fitness Circuits

    x

     

     

     

    Outdoor Stages

     

    x

     

    No performances, dancing or gathering permitted in the bandshells or stages.

    Parklets

    x

     

     

     

    Playgrounds

    x

     

     

     

    Play Leaders

     

    x

     

    Play Leader staff and activities will not be provided this summer.

    Sand Volleyball

    x

     

     

    Skill practice and casual play only; organized games are not allowed.

    Skate Parks

    x

     

     

    Physical distancing required.

    Spray Parks & Misters

    x

     

     

    Physical distancing required. Hand pumps will not be installed at opened sites. Quayside park water feature will remain closed as will sand/water table features.

    Old School House & Grimston Park Wading Pool will not open for summer 2020. 

    Tennis & Pickleball

    x

     

     

    Physical distancing required.

    Trails

    x

     

     

    Physical distancing required.

    Washrooms

    x

     

     

    Physical distancing required.

    Cleaned with more frequency.


  • Q: What playgrounds are opening and when?

    A: As of June 17, all Parks and Recreation playgrounds are open.

    Q: Is it safe for my children to use playgrounds?

    A: Ultimately, the decision to start using playgrounds, and other park features, is a personal choice to be made by parents and caregivers. The City’s first priority is to open select playgrounds where public washrooms with hand washing facilities are available. To further emphasize playground safety protocols, the City is posting the following information to help families make safe and informed choices about playground use:

    • Seasonal cleaning and inspections of all sites prior to re-opening;
    • Posting site signs promoting the following recommended public health practices:
      • Washing hands thoroughly before and after using play equipment;
      • Maintaining physical distancing;
      • Avoiding large groups;
      • Limiting use of playgrounds at busy times;
      • Staying at home if ill or exhibiting symptoms; and
      • Information that clarifies that the playground equipment is not sanitized.
    • Periodic site monitoring by City staff.
  • Q. Are there still COVID-19 restrictions to using parks or park amenities?

    A. Yes. Going forward park participation could involve safety measures such as: hand hygiene before, during and after activities; participant sanitation of equipment they use; social distancing; defined directions on how participants move park spaces; reduced numbers of participants allowed in spaces or services; restrictions on how park features can be used; and restrictions on water fountains. Signage will be in place to help inform you of changes or requirements to participation. Any participants exhibiting symptoms of illness must stay at home.

  • Q. When will the recreation facilities open?

    A. To comply with new COVID-19 regulations, all indoor recreation facilities (listed below) remained closed throughout the summer. We will provide reopening updates as available.

    Currently Closed:

    • Canada Games Pool
    • Queensborough and Centennial Community Centres
    • Century House and Youth Centre
    • Moody and Queen’s Park Arenas
    • Centennial Lodge
  • Q. When are your fitness centers opening?

    A. Parks and Recreation is looking to reopen our fitness centres this fall.

    Q. Why are other fitness centres open and yours are not?

    A. Many fitness centres that are starting to open are private and only offer fitness services. Parks and Recreation facilities have multiple integrated uses (i.e. fitness centres, swimming, rentals, registered programs, library branches, gyms, etc.). We are unable to open a one space within a facility without opening the whole facility. Again, we the Provincial regulations currently do not yet permit us to fully open our facilities and services and it is not feasible or possible to open up spaces within our centres.

    Q. When are membership or drop in activities such as skating, swimming, gymnastics, indoor cycling and group fitness classes starting?

    A. Parks and Recreation is looking these services, to the largest extent possible, this fall when the recreation facilities reopen. 

    Q. What is the status of my visit based membership (i.e. Active 10 Visit pass)?

    A. All visit based memberships are sold with a three-year term meaning that you should successfully use up all your visits before it expires. If you would like a refund on your visit based membership, please call 604.526.4281.

    Q. What is the status of my time-based membership (i.e. Active 90 day pass)?

    A. Parks and Recreation has been extending time-based memberships to align with the COVID-19 closures. If you would like a refund on your time-based membership, please call 604.526.4281.

  • Q. What is the status of my existing indoor rental booking?

    A. Staff are monitoring the COVID-19 regulations and how they will affect your rental booking. All May rental bookings have been cancelled and staff will be in contact with you about the status and/or cancellation of existing June to September rental booking(s).

    Q. What do I do to book an indoor rental space?

    A. We will not be taking new indoor rental booking requests that occur before October. Indoor rental requests, after September, will be considered depending on the group size, the rental function or activity, the space requested and complying with required COVID-19 regulations. In some cases, we may not be able to accommodate your request. In other cases, the rental may be accommodated with limitations on group size, social distancing requirements, new insurance requirements, new terms and conditions, etc. Renters may also be required to book larger spaces for social distancing requirement, and in turn, may be subject to extra costs associated to the larger space or for additional required cleaning protocols.

    The serving of food and/or beverages in rental bookings must follow Provincial Health guidelines. In addition, sports associations will be required to meet their provincial bodies COVID-19 measures that includes safety plans, an exposure control and Return to Sport plans, insurance requirements and activity limitations. Parks and Recreation may request copies of minor sport safety plans and new insurance certificates before allowing certain rentals to proceed.

  • Q. What is the status of my existing outdoor rental booking?

    A. Staff are monitoring the COVID-19 regulations and how they will affect your existing outdoor rental booking. All May and June rental bookings are cancelled and staff will be in contact with you about any rental bookings during this timeframe. Staff may not be able to answer questions on rental bookings after June due to evolving regulations and the volume of work to address the status change for June bookings.

    Q. What do I do to book an outdoor rental space?

    A. Rental requests starting in July may be considered depending on the group size, the rental function or activity, the space requested and meeting the required COVID-19 regulations. In some cases, we may not be able to accommodate your request. In other cases, the rental may be accommodated with limitations on group size, social distancing requirements, new insurance requirements, etc. Renters may also be required to book larger spaces, with potential extra costs associated to the larger space or for additional required cleaning protocols.

    The serving food and/or beverages must follow Provincial Health guidelines. In addition, sports associations will be required to meet their provincial bodies COVID-19 measures that includes safety plans, an exposure control and Return to Sport plans, insurance requirements and participation limits. Parks and Recreation may request copies of minor sport safety plans before allow certain rentals to proceed.

  • Q. When can I register for swim/skate/gymnastics lessons, summer day camps or any other recreation or arts and culture program?

    A.Visit our Summer Services page for full details on programs offered for 2020, safety information and registration process.

    Q. How do I register for any registered programs that may be offered in the summer?

    A. In compliance with the order of provincial health authorities, Parks and Recreation has closed its facilities to the public and you are unable to register in-person. It remains uncertain when recreation facilities will be reopened, likely in the fall. As well, Parks and Recreation has turned off its online registration website to ensure we only sell the reduced summer registered programs offered. 

    Visit our Summer Services page for full details on programs, safety information and registration process.

    Please frequently check the Parks and Recreation What’s Happening listing for registered program information.

    Q. When will childcare programs such as Discovery Playtime open?

    A. Parks and Recreation knows you rely on childcare services that allows you to work and/or stimulate your children with quality services that promote play, education and socialization. Staff are reviewing the new and emerging regulations and our goal is to offer Discovery Playtime options when our facilities open this fall.

  • Q. Will COVID-19 affect how I can participate in Parks and Recreation services?

    A. Yes. Going forward free or paid participation in Parks and Recreation services could involve safety measures such as: participant health screening; hand hygiene before, during and after activities; participant sanitation of equipment used; social distancing requirements; defined directions on how participants move through recreation centres; reduced numbers of participants allowed in spaces or services; access controls; restrictions on spaces or equipment (i.e. lockers, washrooms, change rooms, etc.); and restrictions on water fountains or bottle filling stations. Signage will be placed in the recreation centres to help inform you of changes or requirements to participation. Any participants exhibiting symptoms of illness must stay at home.

  • Q. Why am I having difficulty finding information online?

    A. Parks and Recreation has ‘turned off’ many of its webpages due to COVID-19 and resulting service disruptions. This was done to ensure that website visitors did not get a mixed message on the status of facility operations and/or service delivery options. As soon as it is appropriate, we will ‘turn on’ our webpages and online registration website. Until then, please visit  the Parks and Recreation What’s Happening webpage for the most current Parks and Recreation updates.

    Q. Why is more difficulty contacting a recreation facility?

    A. Due to the temporary closure of Parks and Recreation facilities and service delivery, and COVID-19 crisis response needs, staff have been reassigned to meet new Covid-19 priority needs, or in some cases, staff are not being scheduled to work. This has reduced our normal ability to service you and we apologize for this. The best source of information is at www.newwestcity.ca but questions on past purchases can be directed to 604.526.4281 on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm or .