Coldstream reopens up parks but popular Kal Beach remains closed - InfoNews

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Coldstream reopens up parks but popular Kal Beach remains closed

Kal Beach, still closed.
April 22, 2020 - 4:16 PM

The District of Coldstream has loosened its restrictions on public spaces and reopening parks, although Kalamalka Beach will still remain closed.

According to a District of Coldstream media release, all green spaces including parks, dog parks and the cemetery have reopened. While the parks have opened, playground equipment, tennis courts, skateboard park, parking lots and washroom facilities still remain closed. Kalamalka Beach will also remain closed.

In an email to Coldstream chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel said the beach will remain closed as gatherings at the beach would not be preventable.

"We do not have the resources to count people on the beach to maintain the 50," Seibel said, referring to provincial order prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more.

The media release said the District wants to encourage local use of the parks and says it does not want people driving "into our residential neighbourhoods to access facilities," including the Okanagan Rail Trail.

"If you are planning to get outdoors, think of this first. If you need a car, you are going too far," the District said. 

While many cities have closed playgrounds and facilities, the District of Coldstream took it one step further and closed all its parks including the cemetery. The move to close the cemetery was criticized and was in contrast to Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and Kamloops which all kept their cemeteries open during the pandemic.

The District was also criticized for the stringent enforcement of its rules after a megaphone wielding bylaw officer barked orders at people to social distance.

The District says its decision to reopen parks is in response to B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry indicating that current restrictions could be lifted or modified by mid-May.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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