THE Vancouver Park Board is reopening Fraserview and McCleery golf courses and VanDusen Botanical Garden for public use on Friday, May 1. The sites will operate with new physical distancing procedures for users and staff to ensure a safe experience.
The Park Board closed all three of its golf courses and the 55-acre outdoor garden in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful planning and preparation, and consultation with industry partners and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the Park Board will reopen the spaces to provide safe outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Park Board said it will continue to review the feasibility of reopening other facilities and will make adjustments to its operations based on the latest information provided by VCH and the Provincial Health Officer.
Combined, Vancouver’s golf courses and VanDusen Botanical Garden provide hundreds of acres of green space for the community. Each of the sites is highly supervised, attendance is managed, and their facilities allow for new physical distancing protocols.
Langara Golf Course will remain closed for play, as the clubhouse is currently being used to prepare meals for residents of the Downtown Eastside. Pitch and putts in Stanley, Rupert and Queen Elizabeth parks will also remain closed.
New mandatory golf-specific physical distancing protocols at Fraserview and McCleery include:
- All bookings will be completed online, with payment on site, no walk-ups allowed.
- Golfers will be asked to arrive at the course no more than 20 minutes prior to tee off, and to remain in their vehicles (no congregating) until they are ready to pay and play. They will be directed to leave immediately after completing their play.
- Access to the golf shop will be limited to two guests at a time.
- Food and beverage services will remain closed and contactless pay will be required (debit and credit only, no cash.)
- Golfers will tee off at 18-minute intervals (half as many tee times as normal) which will result in a maximum of 12 golfers teeing off per hour.
· A single rider cart policy has been implemented with all carts being sanitized in a designated area between use. Pull carts will be sanitized for every user. No rental clubs will be available.
· All frequent touch points, such as bunker rakes, garbage can lids, sand bottles, ball washers, and shoe blowers, have been removed from the courses.
· Flag sticks will not be touched. Cup fillers will prevent the ball from going to the bottom of the hole for touchless retrieval.
Walkers will still be welcome on the courses from dawn until 8 a.m. on the back nine holes providing the community access to nature and green space. For a full list of COVID-19 protocols and changes to the courses visit Vancouver.ca/golf.
At VanDusen Botanical Garden, the following measures will be put in place:
· Online ticket sales only, to limit contact on site.
· Visitors and Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA) members will be required to book an entry time slot in advance.
· Hours of operation will be modified to provide the safest visitor experience. The Garden will open to the public Monday – Friday, 10 am – 7 pm, and from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekends. VBGA members will have morning access from 9 – 10 a.m., Monday – Friday.
· A maximum of 30 visitors will be permitted in each time slot (every half hour).
· Select facility features will be closed (such as the gift shop and cafe), some pathways will be marked as one-way, and guided tours will not be available.
· Visitors will be required to maintain a two-metre distance from others at all times.
· Enhanced and rigorous cleaning protocols will be implemented at all shared services (washrooms etc.).
· One individual / household will be permitted in the maze at a time; the maze will be staffed to ensure compliance with this restriction.
Measures have also been introduced to keep VanDusen Botanical Garden and golf course maintenance staff safe. Schedules have been adapted and on-site procedures adopted to distance staff. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) has also been provided and will be in use for maintenance staff.