City of Nanaimo parks ambassadors at Westwood Lake Park. (City of Nanaimo photo)

City of Nanaimo’s park ambassadors offer physical-distancing reminders

Program being expanded from Westwood Lake and Maffeo Sutton to other parks

As the pandemic has carried from winter into spring, the City of Nanaimo is finding ways to ensure park users can still frequent some of their favourite spots.

The city announced that it is expanding its park ambassador program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Park ambassadors in high-visibility vests have been out and about at Westwood Lake Park and Maffeo Sutton Park, and starting this weekend they will also be at Bowen Park, Neck Point Park and Colliery Dam Park, as well as some smaller parks, trails and beaches.

Park ambassadors are there to remind residents about the importance of physical distancing, but also disinfect “high-touch points” remove litter, graffiti and invasive plants and respond to instances of social disorder, according to a press release from the City of Nanaimo. They are not authorized to issue fines.

“Due to the success of the pilot program at Westwood Lake Park and the downtown Waterfront, the City of Nanaimo is expanding the program to other popular parks as part of our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Art Groot, director of facility and parks operations, in the release. “Please look for our well-trained and friendly staff dressed in bright yellow vests in a park near you.”

The city reminds residents that although parks and trails are open, other types of outdoor recreation venues are not. Playgrounds, sports courts, skateparks, gated off-leash dog parks and other outdoor amenities remain closed.

READ ALSO: City of Nanaimo playgrounds closed after citizens raise concerns

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