During the Standing Committee of Council on Monday, April 20, Blackfalds Town Council made the difficult decision to close all public playgrounds, both skateboard parks (Optimists All Wheels Park and Pine Crescent Skateboard Park) and the Bike Skills Park due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, effective immediately.
With warmer temperatures, there has been an increased presence in these spaces and although we encourage families and community members to get outside, stay active and enjoy the sunshine, it has been observed that not everyone is keeping with the guidelines and regulations set out by the provincial government.
“Over the weekend, Town Council received complaints from citizens who were concerned that the Town’s request for voluntary social distancing by citizens using structures at our playgrounds were not working. This was not unexpected given the warmer weather.” explained Mayor Poole. “Last night, the Emergency Services Advisory Committee, in consultation with Town Council, decided that stronger actions needed to be applied. This was not an easy decision but one that we felt will protect our citizens in a more comprehensive manner, while still allowing the opportunity to utilize our many green spaces and trails using social distancing guidelines.
“If you have concerns please contact Council or CAO Myron Thompson. We also ask that you please talk about these increased restrictions with your family members and remind them that when they see our dedicated Town Staff enforcing these guidelines, they should take a moment to thank them for their continued service to our community during an increasingly difficulty time,” Mayor Poole added.
Emergency Management and Protective Services Manager Ken Morrison explained that the Town hoped for the best when deciding to keep the playgrounds open.
“Unfortunately, not everyone is abiding by the government’s standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It was not an easy decision to make, but we have to make sure that the Town does its part in keeping our community safe.”
Playgrounds will be patrolled regularly by municipal enforcement and staff have already started fencing and taping.
Please be advised that this does not apply to public green spaces or trails which includes the Blackfalds Bark Park or the Community Gardens.
Please see blackfalds.com/tourism-recreation/parks-sports-fields for a full list of closures.