Haldimand County announces re-opening of boat launches, tennis/pickleball courts and skate/BMX parks

Haldimand County will be re-opening some of its outdoor amenities as early as Saturday, May 16. The re-openings are being implemented in response to yesterday’s Provincial announcement regarding Phase 1 of Ontario’s re-opening plan. Provincial rules limiting gatherings to 5 persons or less remain in effect.

Among the businesses/activities permitted to re-open under the new Provincial rules are marinas (May 16), golf courses (May 16) and outdoor non-team sporting competitions (May 19). As such, the County will be re-opening the following amenities:

Boat launches – Saturday, May 16, 2020

All public boat launches EXCEPT the Port Maitland West launch (accessed via the Esplanade) will be open for use starting this Saturday. Port Maitland West will not open until piers and beaches are open for normal public use. Docks will not be put in immediately as they require inspections and seasonal maintenance, which will take some time.

Parking lots at trailheads/public parks – Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Barricades at green space & trail parking areas will be removed by staff over the course of the long weekend. All parking lots at County-operated green spaces and trails are expected to be open by Tuesday.

Parks – Tuesday,  May 19, 2020

All County parks will be re-open for use on Tuesday, with the exception of the Port Maitland Park (pier, and beach). Formerly, parks were open for walk-through access only. Fishing will now be permitted from riverbanks in County parks and it is now appropriate, based on public health guidelines, for residents to enjoy a picnic or game of catch with members of their household while practicing social distancing with others. Playgrounds, pavilions & picnic tables remain off limits until further notice.

Tennis/pickleball courts, disc golf courses & skate/BMX parks – Tuesday, May 19, 2020

All tennis & pickleball courts will re-open for use on Tuesday, as well as the disc golf course at Lafortune Park and all skate/BMX parks. All other sporting fields and courts remain closed.

Residents are asked to be patient while staff remove barricades and amend posted signage to reflect these changes.

“With the loosening of restrictions and greater access to outdoor amenities, we expect that the public will be respectful of social distancing guidelines, not congregate in groups larger than 5 people, and keep 6ft away from other individuals,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt. “While these re-openings are a step in the right direction & welcome news, disregarding the guidelines puts our community at risk. I implore everyone to exercise common sense, be vigilant and share these spaces responsibly,” Hewitt added.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact the COVID-19 enforcement hotline at 519-428-8019 to report violations of individuals who are not following social distancing guidelines. To ensure continued access to parks, residents are urged to demonstrate personal responsibility, practice social distancing and not take advantage of public green spaces (e.g: congregate in groups) so they can be enjoyed, especially as warmer weather approaches.

For the most up-to-date local COVID-19 information, including municipal service options, facility/amenity closures and program cancellations, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.

For up-to-date public health information, visit the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website.