While the outdoor pool and Discovery Canyon will remain closed this season, the reopening of the Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play and the Lava Rock at Kin Kanyon is scheduled for July 9, 2020.
The City of Red Deer is focusing on access to its many free aquatic amenities for the upcoming season. In addition to the Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play and the Lava Rock at Kin Kanyon, the boat launch at Fort Normandeau is expected to open July 1.
“We are excited to welcome citizens to our free outdoor aquatic features, where feasible to do so within the regulations set by Alberta’s Medical Officer of Health,” said Sarah Tittemore, General Manager of Community Services. “The public can expect to see enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of public washrooms, as well as increased access to hand sanitization stations when we re-open.”
Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play is designed as an enviro-friendly amenity with a recirculating water filtration and disinfection system. No different than a swimming pool, the amenity must pass a series of stringent water tests prior to opening. These water quality requirements result in an extended timeline to open in comparison with spray parks in other communities that may open immediately.
Citizens are reminded that the splash park is an unsupervised amenity. We are asking users to respect the capacity limit on outdoor gatherings. Pre-registration is not required to use the amenity, but currently, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people.
Over the past week, The City’s recreation, parks and culture department has continued working through the many details for a phased and gradual reopening of recreation and culture spaces in Red Deer. These openings will continue to be in alignment with phase 2 of the provincial government’s Relaunch Strategy.
“We continue to work with our many user groups to understand demands and needs for recreation and culture spaces and places throughout the summer and heading into the fall,” said Tittemore. “We continue to make the best decisions possible based on the information we have at the time, and while operations may look different in the upcoming months, we do look forward to welcoming our customers back as they enjoy everything from the outdoor splash park to outdoor fitness classes.”
At this time, public health orders and restrictions remain in place with The City continuing to assess and adjust operations based on these requirements.
The decision to keep Discovery Canyon and outdoor pool closed for the season comes following a thorough assessment with support from Alberta Health Services (AHS). Unfortunately, based on current restrictions and recommendations from AHS, there would be substantial financial implications and the customer experience would be significantly impacted if these amenities were to open.
“Restricting public access to Discovery Canyon to less than 100 people with thousands of daily visitors would require significant capital and operating investments”, said City Manager Allan Seabrooke. “We could open these amenities; however, we cannot do so without modifying the physical amenities themselves as well as our standard operations. This would involve significant investment, exceeding $100,000, for physical modifications, engineered controls and increased staffing levels. Even with these adjustments, the user experience would be very different from that which our customers have come to expect. Additionally, this cost is unnecessary at a time when we are working to plan for and manage the potential tax and economic impacts already stemming from COVID-19.”
The City will continue to modify and update information on an ongoing basis as more information is available from Alberta Health Services and the Province of Alberta.
Information about the provincial relaunch strategy, public health orders and data regarding active cases and trends is available at www.alberta.ca/COVID19.
Visit www.reddeer.ca/COVID19 for the latest on The City’s municipal response, including projected opening dates for recreation amenities and information on modified summer day camps.