New rules around what’s open and what’s closed under the provincial Stay-at-Home Order can be confusing – especially around parks and play equipment. Well, the City of Ottawa’s Park Ambassador Program is now back to give helpful guidance for your child’s play on the slides, swings and play structures.
Park Ambassadors are not enforcement officers and they do not hand out tickets. They are live, on-the-spot resources who offer valuable information, answers to your questions and help explain any confusion you might have about what’s permitted and what’s closed in our City parks.
The Park Ambassadors will walk in pairs around the park area in either their green shirts or red jackets that identify them as City of Ottawa staff.
But before you go to the park playground, be sure both yourself and your child bring along a mask. In order to provide your family more protection, Ottawa Public Health requires wearing masks on and around the open play equipment, which includes:
- Play structures
- Sand boxes
Toddlers under two years of age are not required to wear a mask, as well as children under five years of age (chronologically or developmentally) who refuse to wear one.
Which park amenities are closed? Here are the closed areas in the parks and on the school grounds:
- Basketball courts
- Tennis and pickleball courts
- Sports fields, ball diamonds and batting cages
- Picnic tables and gazebos
- Skate and bike parks – which include BMX parks
- Fitness and exercise equipment
Of course, you can walk, jog, bike or use a mobility device through the park, or take your dog to an off-leash area for a run.
So, if you’re still uncertain at the park, be sure to ask your question to one of our Park Ambassadors. Together, by following guidelines and rules and getting our vaccine when it’s our turn, we can look forward to brighter days ahead.