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BC campgrounds reopening June 1

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:33 PDT, Mon May 25, 2020

After several months of closure, most BC campgrounds and recreation sites open for summer camping June 1. More parks will also be open for day use.

To ensure British Columbians have access to camping opportunities close to home during the summer, new reservations can only be made by BC residents. People can now reserve a site two months in advance of their arrival date instead of four—a temporary measure to spread out the demand during the busy summer months.

“Spending time appreciating nature is one of the best things we can do for our health and well-being,” said Environment Minister George Heyman. “Camping provides the ideal opportunity to connect safely with family and friends in BC Parks beauty. We want to ensure British Columbians have access to summer vacation opportunities close to home, so we are limiting new reservations to BC residents. Our plan is to safely open as many parks as possible so that BC campers and day visitors can rediscover the wilderness beauty close to home.”

Opening campgrounds safely to support public health guidelines means it will not be business as usual in some campgrounds. To allow physical distancing, fewer sites will be available in some campgrounds, there may be some changes to services and communal facilities, and some campgrounds will open at a later date. Hot springs, backcountry communal cabins and campgrounds that require visitors to use shared cooking facilities will remain temporarily closed, along with group campsites.x

As of today, the Discover Camping reservation system is back online to accept new reservations. Most existing reservations for dates after June 1 will be honoured, so campsites in popular campgrounds may already be booked. Some reservations may need to be cancelled due to reduced capacity at certain campgrounds. Those who are impacted will be advised of their cancelled bookings over the coming weeks. A list of changes to campgrounds will be posted on the BC Parks website.

On June 1, additional parks will reopen for day-use activities. Playgrounds, halls and picnic shelters remain closed in all provincial parks. The remaining parks that attract the largest crowds will only reopen when it is safe to do so, taking into consideration the safety of visitors and staff, impact on nearby communities and the protection of the environment.

To ensure parks stay open and safe for everyone, visitors are expected to follow physical distancing requirements and will need to manage their own safety. If a park is too busy and physical distancing cannot be maintained, visitors using parks for day-use activities are asked to find another outdoor space to enjoy close to home.

Parks that remain temporarily closed are listed on the BC Parks website. People are advised to check the website often, as services and openings may change to align with the status of the COVID-19 response.

For status updates on BC Parks closures, visit: http://bcparks.ca/

To reserve a BC Parks campsite, visit: https://www.discovercamping.ca/bccweb/

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