GRCA to close all parks effective March 23

Officials concerned with large groups of people, illegal parking and people entering closed areas

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) is closing all its parks as of March 23.

The closures, announced on March 22 “to ensure public safety and the well-being of staff and visitors,” will be in effect until at least April 6.

GRCA park visits have increased during the COVID-19 outbreak and officials say that 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.”

The GRCA warns that anyone entering GRCA parks will be trespassing and those who choose to ignore the closures and park outside on municipal roadways may be subject to fines.

“We are urging the community to respect the closures,” stated GRCA communications manager Lisa Stocco in a press release.

“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.”

Officials add that some parks include dam infrastructure that require daily inspections by staff and “it is essential that they are able to continue to do so without impediment or risk to their health and safety.”

The GRCA will reassess the situation in two weeks. For authority updates regarding COVID-19 visit the GRCA website.

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