The City of Red Deer is expected to reopen sports fields in the coming weeks. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

City of Red Deer developing plan to reopen sports fields

As new provincial guidelines related to Alberta’s relaunch continue to roll out, the City of Red Deer is getting ready to re-open sports fields for limited, organized use.

Last week, the province issued new guidelines for organized outdoor sport, physical activity and recreation. That led the city to start developing a plan to reopen sports fields, which were set to be closed until June 30 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know physical activity and outdoor leisure are critically important, and we recognize that citizens are anxious to use our outdoor amenities,” said Shelley Gagnon, Recreation, Parks and Culture Manager. “With the release of new provincial guidelines, we are pleased to start welcoming back some organized play to City sports fields.”

In addition, specific activities within parks will be permitted, including weddings and picnic shelter bookings. These activities must also follow all provincial health orders and guidelines.

Some of the guidelines for permitted use of sports fields include training, practice and skill development, as long as they can follow stage one guidance. That includes physical distancing, gathering limits and enhanced protection controls. Games and competitions will still not be allowed at this time because of the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

As part of the reopening process, the city will reach out to groups and individuals with existing bookings before June 12. After that, the City expects to invite new bookings later in June.

Some fields and park spaces will remain closed due to weather, maintained or lack of available resources to operate. All user groups are expected to adhere to new COVID-19 procedures and policies.

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