Visitors are being asked to respect and follow rules and restrictions at Grand River Parks after area closures were not respected and they didn't practice appropriate physical distancing measures.
OXFORD COUNTY - Several Grand River Parks experienced significant challenges today, as with visitors were not following rules and respecting restrictions and closures.
Grand River Conservation Authority staff reported people were not respecting area closures, and appropriate physical distancing measures were not practiced.
Furthermore, a considerable amount of garbage and other waste was left in the conservation areas, particularly at Guelph Lake. Guelph Lake will not open until 10 a.m. tomorrow due to the amount of clean up that is required.
If the GRCA continues to experience significant challenges in its conservation areas with visitors not respecting the rules, access will be restricted or the areas may be forced to close altogether.
The GRCA is reminding visitors of the following rules and restrictions:
· The Elora Quarry Conservation Area remains closed until further notice.
· Other Grand River Parks are open for limited recreational activities (hiking, birdwatching, fishing, boating) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with the exception of Guelph Lake on June 7th, which will open at 10 a.m.)
· Parking is limited; if capacity is reached, access will be restricted
· People should plan for short visits to make sure the space can be shared and stay close to home; if the areas are busy, people should leave and return at another time
· All beaches and swimming areas are closed
· All buildings and on-site facilities, including washrooms, gatehouses, picnic areas and playgrounds remain closed; no equipment rentals are available
· No garbage receptacles are available and visitors must carry any garbage or pet waste out with them
· Physical distancing is required; people should stay at least two metres or six feet apart, and are not to congregate in groups
· Some portions of the conservation areas are not accessible
· Visitors must obey all signage and keep their pets on a leash at all times
Standard entrance fees apply. Visitors can enter with a valid Grand River Parks membership pass, or pay at the automatic gate with a credit card at Shades’ Mills and Laurel Creek conservation areas.
Visitors may enter with a valid Grand River Parks membership pass at other Conservation Areas that don't have a automatic gate, or pay by cash (exact change only) in payment boxes at the gatehouses.
At Belwood Lake and Conestogo Lake conservation areas, standard boat launch fees apply and must also be paid once you enter.
To see full details about which GRCA properties are open and closed to the public, and what activities are allowed, you can visit here.