Visiting parks & beaches safely this long weekend

July 30, 2020

Anyone visiting Kelowna's parks or beaches this B.C. long weekend is reminded to keep personal and community safety top of mind. While crowded beaches are typically a sign of summer in Kelowna, any type of large gathering is a serious concern during a pandemic. 
 
"The B.C. long weekend is the pinnacle of summer in the Okanagan and we encourage residents to get out, get active and enjoy the fresh air – just make sure to be safe while doing so," said Lance Kayfish, Risk Manager with the City of Kelowna. “If the parking lot is full or the beach or park looks too crowded, make the smart choice and find a different, quieter location. We are lucky in Kelowna to have plenty of beach and park options to choose from.”  
 
Kelowna has more than 200 parks including more than 35 beaches or beach accesses which can be found using the Beaches and Parks Map at kelowna.ca/parks.  
 
“As a general rule, if you can’t find a spot to put down your towel that is at least six feet away from others, the beach is too busy,” says Kayfish. “We ask that you simply be flexible in your weekend plans, try a different spot, or simply come back later when it’s less busy.”  
 
Starting this long weekend, Safety Education Ambassadors will visit popular outdoor areas in Kelowna including beaches, parks, sports fields and waterfront areas to ensure residents and visitors are practicing safe physical distancing while enjoying public spaces. 
 
“We’ve restructured the Parks Ambassador Program to address an immediate need in our community in pandemic education,” said Kayfish. “We commend those who are finding ways to stay active by choosing low risk activities in larger spaces, unfortunately it only takes a few people bending the rules to put others at risk. Our ambassadors are there to provide that reminder and for the most part people are responsive and willing to adjust their behaviour.” 

In addition to pandemic safety, park and beach visitors are reminded that all Kelowna Parks are smoke-free and that any type of outdoor wood burning, including campfires, whether in a park or in a backyard, is not permitted at any time in the City of Kelowna.  

The Safety Education Ambassador Program is expected to run throughout August.  

Visit kelowna.ca/covid19 for more information on the City of Kelowna’s response to the coronavirus including a brief message from Mayor Colin Basran about community safety as we get ready for the long weekend.