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Grand River Conservation Authority says their properties will remain closed for the time being

The GRCA clarified that the re-opening of provincial parks doesn't apply to their parks, trails and conservation areas
Grand River Conservation Authority -wetland
GuelphToday file photo

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Despite the partial re-opening of some provincial parks, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) wants to clarify this doesn’t apply to their parks, trails and conservation areas.

GRCA communications manager Lisa Stocco said there is no timeline for re-opening at this point but they’re in the process of developing a plan. 

“We’re expecting we’re going to take a phased approach so it will be done in stages,” Stocco said, noting that it will be similar to how the province re-opens.

Before the GRCA can open its properties, Stocco explained they have a lot of issues to consider such as maintenance they haven’t been able to perform since closures and signage related to physical distancing to be installed. 

There are also considerations to be made for their staff who work in close contact with the public or contractors. 

“We have to ensure that our staff have appropriate equipment, like personal protective equipment, when they’re doing their work,” Stocco said. “A lot of the work that our staff do is done in pairs. For safety reasons, it has to be done in pairs.”

Stocco couldn’t precisely say what would open and at what time but said camping wouldn’t be one of the first services available. 

The GRCA has opened a portion of the Elora Cataract Trailway after coming to an agreement with the Township of Centre Wellington.

“We were able to come up with a short-term agreement for the maintenance of that portion so it can be re-opened,” Stocco said.

A press release from the township said they will maintain and monitor a section of the trail between Beattie Line and Gerrie Road. 

In total, the GRCA operates 12 parks, seven conservation areas and four trails in the region.