Due to reduced seasonal staffing numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents will notice changes in service levels within parks and forestry this summer.
All municipalities throughout the region are similarly impacted but due to differences in size, number of facilities, staffing levels and contractor use, not all will experience the same service level impacts.
Hours of work
In an effort to maintain physical distancing, staff are starting earlier, working on staggered start times and working day and afternoon shifts. Residents may notice additional noise in the mornings as well as after 3 p.m.
Permanent park washrooms are anticipated to be open on July 1.
Grass cutting operations throughout parks, open space and cul-de-sacs will be impacted this year. Residents can expect to see slightly longer times between cuts and a greatly reduced service level on string trimming.
Horticulture displays will be limited primarily to areas within the uptown core this year.
Tree planting has been delayed by about six weeks. The spring tree planting program will begin the first week in June with approximately 400 trees compared to the typical 700 trees. Tree planting will resume in the fall as we do not plant trees in the hotter summer months of mid-July and August.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) update
Ash tree removals are underway. Residents can expect to see city staff and contract staff removing dead/dying ash trees throughout the city. This work is scheduled to be completed by neighbourhood in an effort to reduce mobilization time and costs.
Reduced crews are focusing their efforts on grass cutting to maintain the health of our turf. String trimming will be reduced and grooming and lining will be impacted.
Residents and user groups can expect to see a reduced service level, particularly for grooming, lining and diamond setups/base distance changes, this will not be sufficient to support any large tournament play should that restriction be lifted by the province. User groups may also experience fewer booking times available so as not to overcrowd parking lots and park spaces between games.
Premium gated fields such as those at Bechtel diamond, RIM park artificial fields, Westmount sports fields and Waterloo Park diamonds 1 and 2 remain locked and closed to all activities.
Outdoor tennis, pickleball and basketball courts
All courts are now open city-wide and available for play with physical distancing. Basketball courts are available for practice only.