Banff’s Emergency Coordination Centre has closed the town’s off-leash dog park to help comply with physical distancing requirements in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The closure is necessary as it is not feasible to maintain proper sanitization of the park gate between users. In addition, physical distancing protocols required by Alberta Health Services are difficult to implement as interactions between pets and owners may inadvertently bring individuals within the two metre/six-foot distance restriction. Maximum gatherings of 15 visitors at a time cannot be enforced.
“We know this is a difficult time for Town of Banff residents and that this facility closure may cause a disruption for many,” said Silvio Adamo, Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Banff. “This was not an easy decision, but the closure is another important step to ensure the health and safety of the community. We thank residents for their understanding and cooperation.”
Pet owners must keep their dogs on leash at all times in Banff National Park, including all areas of the Town of Banff, for the safety of wildlife, people and their pets.
The current dog park is to be relocated directly north of the existing site to allow for the construction of the Roam Transit Storage Facility. A temporary dog park was to be constructed in the interim, as the permanent fencing was to be constructed around the temporary fencing. The development of this temporary dog park will not proceed. The Government of Alberta may impose additional facility and park closures as part of the public state of health emergency, as has occurred in Ontario.
Construction of the new permanent off-leash dog park in the Industrial District will continue this year, but will remain closed until the COVID restrictions are removed. A second off-leash dog park will be constructed at the Recreation Grounds later this year for 2021.
Many trails remain open to residents, but visitors must comply with the following:
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell
- Avoid gatherings of 15 people or more
- Wash your hands and follow personal hygiene guidelines before and after visiting trails
- Maintain a distance of two metres/six feet apart from others
- Share the trail, wave hello and make eye contact to acknowledge the need for safe distancing
- Do not use playgrounds, they remain closed
The Town asks all businesses and individuals to sign up for Emergency Alerts and stay up to date on the latest information at Banff.ca/covid.