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City of Red Deer

Skate parks open in Red Deer. Tennis, basketball, pickle ball open May 15

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From the City of Red Deer

City to open some outdoor amenities

Following the release of the provincial government’s Relaunch Strategy, The City is opening some outdoor recreation amenities. A long-term, phased approach to opening additional outdoor and indoor amenities and resuming recreation activities is also underway.

“We know Red Deerians are anxious to resume their daily lives, including the use of outdoor and indoor recreation in our community,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “We have developed a local phased approach that is in line with the provincial government’s strategy, and ensures we remain unwavering in our diligence and vigilance to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

Following advice and recommendations in the provincial Relaunch Strategy, as well as guidelines from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the following amenities will open in the coming weeks:

  • Skate parks and disc golf will open May 8.
  • Neighbourhood asphalt pads (tennis, basketball, neighbourhood pickleball) will open in phases starting May 15. They will be available for spontaneous, non-contact, unorganized sport only.
  • Community sport fields remain open for spontaneous use, as long as users comply with the restrictions on mass gatherings and requirement to maintain physical distancing.  Sport fields remain closed for organized use and bookings.
  •  The track near Lindsay Thurber High School remains open for spontaneous use.
  • Great Chief Park (including Setters Place) and Edgar Athletic Park remain closed, with the exception the Pitch ‘n Putt at Great Chief Park which is open for use.
  • In alignment with Phase 1 of AB Relaunch strategy The City is working with community groups that operate some city amenities to re-open in the near future including: Red Deer Tennis Club, Red Deer Pickleball Club, Red Deer Remote Car Club and Red Deer BMX Club.
  • The Waskasoo Environmental Education Society will begin opening aspects of their operations, including a modified Green Deer program, as soon as May 15, more details can be found at https://www.waskasoopark.ca/.
  • The City is working with the OPC Chiropractic clinic at the Collicutt Centre to provide modified access.
  • Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery is exploring options for their reopening.

The ability to keep facilities open will depend on the public’s compliance with provincial public health orders. Users are reminded of the following restrictions and guidelines when using these amenities:

  • Maintain physical distance of 2 metres/6 feet between participants (unless from the same household).
  • Only non-contact, unorganized sport is permitted.
  • Limit participants to 15 people or less.
  • Bring your own equipment and avoid activities that require shared equipment.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands often.

In the coming weeks, staff will perform inspections and maintenance on playgrounds in preparation for a phased re-opening. The exact timing for the opening of playgrounds is still under review, and will depend on provincial guidelines.

We continue to plan for the phased opening of other outdoor and indoor amenities, and will share information and updates as timelines are confirmed. The opening of amenities will be based on guidelines and recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as our own risk analysis. We thank residents for their ongoing support and cooperation in following all public health orders while we evaluate and open amenities when it is safe to do so.

“We are working very closely with the provincial government to understand how to re-open the amenities that we know citizens are eager to return to,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “We know playgrounds are top of mind for many citizens, and we are working hard to develop a plan to allow for the opening of playgrounds; however, with frequent touch points, limited access to hand hygiene options, and cleaning/sanitizing requirements, a careful, methodical plan is needed.”

More detailed information about the overall municipal strategy for reactivating recreation amenities in Red Deer will be available in the coming weeks. As always, the strategy is entirely dependent on the evolving situation, which can change quickly.

For more information, visit reddeer.ca.

City of Red Deer

Collicutt, GH Dawe, and Michener Aquatic Centres to open in mid-July

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From the City of Red Deer

City to begin phased reopening of recreation facilities

A phased and gradual reopening of indoor and outdoor recreation amenities will begin next week and continue throughout the summer. Different amenities will reopen at different times to ensure the safety of staff and facility users per provincial public health orders.

“We are excited to welcome citizens back to our facilities, but opening them within the new provincial health guidelines and restrictions takes planning, and we have had to make significant adjustments to our operations,” said Shelley Gagnon, Recreation, Parks & Culture Manager. “The experience will look and feel a little different for our residents when these amenities reopen.”

Operating hours at some facilities will be adjusted and access to facilities and programs will be limited and controlled to comply with provincial guidelines. This could include booking time slots to use fitness equipment or designating specific public swimming times, track access and sport activities.

The tentative timeline for amenity openings is as follows:

  • June 24 Community bookings will open for sports fields, picnic shelters and bookable park spaces including Great Chief Park, Setters Place, Bower Ponds Stage. The Lindsay Thurber track and field amenities will also be available for bookings. The City is working with user groups to confirm previous bookings and understand future demand.
  • MidJuly:
    • Collicutt Centre – Fitness areas, access to the track and use of the field house will be available for controlled, limited access. We also expect to have the pool open, primarily for swimming lessons and public swimming.
    • G.H. Dawe Community Centre – We expect to have the pool open, primarily for swimming lessons and public swimming. The gymnasium will open for controlled, limited access. Fitness areas will not open immediately.
    • Michener Aquatic Centre – We expect to have the pool available for controlled, limited lane swimming and some aquatic fitness.
  • The Recreation Centre will remain closed for the time being. We continue to assess and understand demand for facilities, program and services as part of this phased approach to opening. As previously announced, the outdoor pool will remain closed for the season.
  • We are working with our organized user groups and clubs to understand demand as they plan for summer and fall programming. These groups book space in our facilities and we anticipate having space available for their use including ice, dry space and pools, by July 6th.
  • We are also excited to offer outdoor fitness programming in early July.  More details will be provided soon.

In addition, the following third party-operated facilities have been given permission to reopen while following all provincial health requirements and guidelines. Please contact them directly for operating information:

  • River Bend Golf and Recreation Area
  • Enduro Mountain Bike Park
  • Lions Campground
  • Red Deer Tennis Club
  • Red Deer Pickleball Club
  • Red Deer BMX
  • Bower Ponds Pavilion
  • Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery
  • Kerry Wood Nature Centre
  • Norwegian Laft Hus
  • Heritage Square
  • Cronquist House
  • Fort Normandeau
  • Neighbourhood Activity Centres
  • YMCA Northside Community Centre
  • Great West Adventure Park
  • Heritage Ranch
  • Festival Hall
  • Memorial Centre
  • Edgar Athletic Fields

“We are still assessing how we can safely open our spray parks, including Kin Canyon, Discovery Canyon and Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play, while adhering to public health orders and restrictions,” said Gagnon. “Currently, outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people, so we’re working to determine how to manage these restrictions while still providing access and will have more information to share in the coming weeks.”

Registration is now open for modified summer day camps which will be held in City facilities in July and August. Visit www.reddeer.ca/daycamps for further information.

As recreation and culture amenities open, The City strongly encourages users to remain vigilant and continue exercising caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including washing/sanitizing hands often and staying home when feeling ill. Facility users will be required to follow all public health orders including maintaining physical distancing when possible.

FAQ – Phased reopening of recreation facilities (pdf)

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City of Red Deer

Mayor Veer responds to BMO and RDC Donald School of Business leaving downtown core

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From the City of Red Deer

Mayor Tara Veer responds to downtown economic sustainability on behalf of City Council

Our community is facing unprecedented challenges, navigating the perfect storm of a global health crisis and an already unfavourable economic climate. BMO Bank of Montreal, a significant anchor in downtown Red Deer, has announced their intention to close their downtown and south Red Deer branches. The company will consolidate these local branches to a new branch in Bower Place. Following a briefing from Bank of Montreal officials, it is The City’s understanding that this is part of the planned change for the bank, and all other branches remain open in Red Deer.

This announcement closely follows the news that Red Deer College’s (RDC) Donald School of Business will move some student programming from the downtown campus to the main campus. RDC will continue to offer Continuing Education and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at their downtown location. I spoke with the RDC Board Chair and we discussed the changing model of RDC and the future of RDC in the downtown. RDC reiterated their commitment to the downtown campus and the fact that ESL and Continuing Education programs will continue to bring students to our downtown.

We know that downtowns are the heart of any city and that they play a vital role as our communities’ business, administrative, and cultural centres. City Council has prioritized work on the strategic goal of ensuring a strong, dynamic local economy and a revitalized downtown and have identified this in our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. As an example, earlier this year The City launched a new economic incentives program for the downtown and adopted other initiatives to strengthen our local economy. For additional information, please visit The City’s website at www.reddeer.ca and search downtown economic incentives and economic leader.

We remain committed to fostering a strong, diverse local economy, which includes a thriving downtown. We will continue to invest in and support businesses in the downtown and throughout our community, ultimately working to ensure long-term sustainability and viability and to support our community through these unprecedented times.Ct

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july, 2020

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