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COVID-19 - Outdoor spaces and parks

Updated 17 September, 2020

As we head into fall and prepare to go back to school and work staying open is in your hands. If you go out, spread out.

This means outside of those who live in your household, you must practice physical distancing in all outdoor spaces.

Here are some guidelines to help limit the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) when enjoying outdoor spaces in Calgary.

COVID-19 status in your community

Learn more about the regional relaunch status in your community, including whether added measures are in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

City parks and pathways

Safer use of pathways and sidewalks for walking and wheeling

Wheeling:

  • Use an audible signal (such as a bell) when overtaking another pathway user.
  • Keep speed to a maximum of 20km/hr on pathways unless otherwise posted.
  • Move off the path to the right when stopping.
  • Ride single file.

Walking:

  • When passing, please step aside onto the adjacent property or grassy shoulder. Walking on the street should only be an option if no other solution is available.
  • If you are stepping onto the street, be sure to look out for cars. Even if the streets seem empty, please stay on sidewalks as much as possible.
  • Be aware of physical distancing at stairways and pathway junctions.
  • Data shows that people using the pathways on weekdays or before 11 a.m. on the weekends are more likely to have room to physically distance themselves from others.
  • Avoid peak-times and, instead, plan outdoor activities during the week or early in the morning on weekends.

Safer use of off-leash areas

  • All dogs (whether on or off-leash) must be under control at all times. Don’t pet other people’s dogs. Don’t let anyone pet your dog.
  • Be a responsible pet owner: clean up after your dog.

Safer use of skateparks

  • If you have any symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, etc.), stay home and isolate.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the skatepark.
  • Keep your distance, stay away from others. Leave at least 2 metres of space between skaters at all times.
  • If the skatepark is crowded, head to another location.
  • Filming yourself? Get your friend to use their phone and send you the clips. Don’t share tech.
  • Keep your hands as clean as possible during your skating. Avoid tricks that require touching the ground.
  • Play safe – avoid taking risks during your skate to minimize potential injuries.

Use of play fields

  • Play fields are unstaffed fields in a community with no amenities.
  • Don’t gather in groups, or with people outside your immediate household. Groups larger than 50 people are strictly prohibited.
  • Stay at least 6 feet/ 2 metres apart from people outside your immediate household at all times.
  • Playing catch, baseball or other activities with members of your immediate household is safe, and a great way to stay active. Please do not participate in any organized team games or activities.

Disc golf

The City’s disc golf courses are open to those wishing to play disc golf under the following conditions:

  • play needs to be modified so that participants will not touch or handle the same disc, and
  • maintain a two-metre distance at all times (including the elimination of accidental contact).

Tennis courts

City tennis courts will be opened as soon as possible, as soon as it is safe to do so. Singles tennis is permitted, with distancing measures. Doubles tennis with members outside your household is not allowed at this time

Safer use of tennis courts

  • If you have any symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, etc), stay home and isolate.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the tennis courts.
  • Keep your distance, stay away from others. Leave at least 2 metres of space between players at all times.
  • If the tennis court is crowded, head to another court.
  • Each player should bring differently coloured tennis balls to the court. Only pick up/touch your own colours; don’t touch your opponent’s colours.
  • At the end of your match, collect your own coloured balls and wash your hands.
  • Don’t shake hands after the match.

Lakes, rivers and reservoir

Going out on the water is not recommended until ice is completely clear. If Calgarians choose to go out on the water while public health orders are in place related to COVID-19, they must maintain physical distancing.

Glenmore Reservoir

The Glenmore Reservoir is closed to all boating activities due to water levels.

Water is gradually being released from the Reservoir to manage spring runoff. This is part of our normal operations to manage this important resource.

The City of Calgary is evaluating our ability to offer recreational programming and services, including the sailing school, in light of the Government of Alberta’s relaunch strategy. However, during the closure, some services are still available for boat storage. Please check back for updated information.

Available services:

  • Boat stall and rack rentals are available during the closure of the Glenmore Reservoir and can be booked here.

Program and permit cancellations:

  • Mooring is not available during the closure; Calgary Recreation staff are contacting mooring permit customers to find an alternate storage solution.
  • Permits for lease group recreation service providers and affiliates are cancelled.

Community gardens and COVID-19

Currently, community gardens remain open for use for the 2020 growing season. Each community garden group is responsible to create an action plan for managing:

  • Physical distancing of 2 metres.
  • Movement of people in or out of the gardens.
  • Adherence to best practices for the cleaning and disinfection of tools, surfaces, gates or garden boxes.

The City will open watering systems beginning mid May, weather pending. We’ll also be supporting existing community gardens with additional soil or compost. Communities should contact 311 and ask for their Parks Community Strategist.

Outdoor spaces at home

Yard and garage sales

Currently there are no restrictions in place for garage or yard sales in Calgary.

If you are hosting a garage or yard sale, follow the Government of Alberta's Guide to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among workers, volunteers, patrons and the general public.

Here are a few tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Remember to physically distance. Chat with shoppers but keep a distance of two metres between you.
  • Disinfect items during the sale, and provide and encourage hand hygiene for shoppers.
  • Encourage the use of masks. Have a supply of masks on hand.

Safe yard work and gardening

When gardening outside, here are a few basic rules for physical distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Remember to physically distance. Chat with your neighbours, but keep two metres between you.
  • Sharing bulbs, cuttings or seedlings? Create a “sharing zone” for plants. Leave them in the zone for 24 hours before your neighbour picks them up.
  • Wash your hands before and after gardening, and touching shared items like garden hoses, tools, compost bins, etc.
  • Have a set of basic tools for each person to reduce contamination:
    • a hand trowel
    • gloves
    • a pail or bucket
    • a secateur or loppers
  • Disinfect/clean tools before and after use:
    • clean handles prevent spreading COVID-19
    • clean blades protect plants and trees from diseases
  • If you share a green space or yard (like a semi-detached house or townhouse), create zones in the garden:
    • Give everyone at least 2 metres of space at all times.
    • Assign yard work to each person or family on separate days. One family mows the lawn, while the other cares for trees and tends flower beds on opposite days.
  • Set up new spaces where people can sit, be safely distanced and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Visit garden centres by yourself, and keep your trips to an absolute minimum.
  • Stay connected through technology. Many local gardening experts and businesses have online training events, garden tours and more.

Fire pits

At this time there is no fire ban for the city of Calgary and you may enjoy the use of your fire pit during this time. However, you must abide by City fire pit rules​.

Consider having a 'virtual fireside chat' with friends instead. The spirit of the public health advice is to prevent gathering as much as possible to keep yourself and others safe. This is not the time to carry on with your normal social routines. Please spend time with those in your household as much as possible.

Additional information

Park closures

​Park and other City facility closures.

Calgary at Home

​Ways to keep active, healthy and have fun while at home.

Alberta Parks

Up to date info on provincial park closures.

Alberta Health Services

​Instructions and updates on COVID-19.