Sign of the times: Okanagan Rail Trail northern parking lot closed, loos removed | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sign of the times: Okanagan Rail Trail northern parking lot closed, loos removed

It's a sign of the times.
Image Credit: Andrew Marr

The District of Coldstream has closed the Kickwillie parking lot, a popular place to access the north end of the Okanagan Rail Trail, in response to the current coronavirus situation.

Along with the parking lot, the district also closed all its parks, beaches, playgrounds, skateboard parks, playing fields and public spaces effective from March 23. Similar measures have been taken by the City of Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan who have both closed outdoor playgrounds.

While the Okanagan Rail Trail remains open, a section from Kickwillie at the 2.5-kilometre mark to south of Kekuli Bay Park at the 12.5 km mark is closed due to construction during the day, however, the trail remains open after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

The Regional District has also removed the porta-potties at the Kickwillie entrance to the Okanagan Rail Trail. The District says the toilets cannot be disinfected between each use which makes them a risk for virus transmission.

"We do not make decisions like this lightly, but we are absolutely focused on taking actions for the health of our community," regional district general manager of community services Mike Fox said in a media release. "The (District) is following the direction of the province, and after B.C. Parks closed the washrooms at the Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, we felt it was appropriate to do the same at Kickwillie."

The District has also announced the open of the Greater Vernon Community Gardens in West Vernon, East Hill and Okanagan College has been delayed until further notice.

The gardens were due to open April 5.

The Regional District said the proximity of the garden beds is too close to allow for the proper social distancing of two metres and at peak times can also be a high-traffic location with multiple older adults.

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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