GRCA parks opening early to ‘support mental health, well-being’ of residents

Overnight and seasonal camping temporarily suspended due to stay-at-home order

WELLINGTON COUNTY – This week the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) will open its parks early for limited day use.

“The [GRCA] is taking steps to help support the mental health and well-being of watershed residents by providing additional opportunities to get outdoors while staying local this spring,” states an April 19 press release from the authority.

Effective April 23, all GRCA parks, with the exception of the Elora Quarry, will open – about one week ahead of the previously-scheduled May 1 opening.

However, due to the province’s current emergency declaration and stay-at-home order, overnight and seasonal camping at GRCA parks is suspended and all campsites are closed.

Those with camping reservations booked while the stay-at-home order is in place will receive full refunds automatically, officials stated.

GRCA conservation areas will continue to operate at a reduced capacity dues to the COVID-19 pandemic “and guests are expected to follow all provincial and local public health guidelines, including limiting travel outside of their region,” officials added.

Some washroom facilities will be open and garbage receptacles will be available, but the GRCA is encouraging guests to keep their visits short and to take their garbage home with them when possible.

Access to picnic areas will be restricted for the duration of the order and boat rentals and food concessions will remain closed for the season, as will swimming pools at Brant and Byng Island conservation areas and the splash pad at Elora Gorge Conservation Area.

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