Blog

BPRW Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak

We invite you to follow to latest updates on the City’s response to COVID-19 on the City of Burlington website: https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/covid-19

Please continue to follow this page for BPRW specific updates, and please keep in mind that we are in a fluid situation that can change day-by-day. Follow our social media for immediate updates to changes.

North Beach Campground Remains CLOSED for now

Update: Our prior post about the North Beach Campground shared incomplete information about how we’re thinking about the campground this summer. At this time, as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, the North Beach Campground remains closed until at least June 30. Decisions beyond June 30 have not yet been finalized.

We are considering closures beyond June 30 for a variety of reasons: the current State guidance on campground operations restricts occupancy to 25%, we are anticipating sharply reduced travel to Burlington this summer as a result of COVID-19 and quarantine rules, and several much-needed construction projects planned for 2020 could be completed more efficiently if traffic to the campground will be much lower.

We also are working with ANEW Place to make some tent sites available at the North Beach Campground to continue to ensure that people experiencing homelessness in Burlington have a safe place to stay during this time, while simultaneously working toward a long-term permanent solution. We are hopeful that such a facility will reduce the prevalence of the illegal encampments that Burlington has chronically struggled with in the warmer months.

For now, even as we continue to evaluate campground operations for this summer, we will be re-opening road access for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians the public to get to North Beach through the campground starting on Saturday May 23. There will be no charge for parking this weekend.

Parking

The usual parking fees and policies that start Memorial Day will be altered

  • There will be NO CHARGES  for parking at North Beach, Oakledge, Perkins Pier, PEASE Lot, or Waterfront Lot (near the Skatepark).
  • Parking passes are NOT being sold at this time.
  • Boaters can use the Coast Guard boat launch ramps at no charge.
  • Business can still park at the Perkins Lot.

Park Shelters Won’t Be Available for Reservation

At this time, the shelters at North Beach and Oakledge will NOT be available to reserve this summer. We will refund any paid reservations. They will be open for public use. We are still determining whether we can open the restrooms. But if you’re heading to the parks in May, please be prepared to not have these facilities available to you.

Some Amenities Are Reopening!

As of May 8, we have  reopened the dog parks, tennis courts and skatepark. Please continue to practice social distancing. Also we ask that you use the parks and head home without hanging out. This will give more people access to use amenities within the Governor’s guidelines.

Basketball courts and playgrounds remain closed at this time.

Want to use this graphic for your communications? CLICK HERE to access the file.

Summer Camps

We continue to take registrations for summer camps and programs. If you are experiencing financial hardship but still want to register for summer programs, please call our customer service line at 802-864-0123 to inquire about scholarship availability and/or payment plans. Summer programs may be cancelled or adjusted to adhere to Health Department/CDC recommendations for social distancing and other safety measures. If any summer programs are cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will receive a full refund.

Community Input

We want to track how successfully our new policies are working, and we could use your help. Currently our Park Ambassadors are out and about interacting with park users (from a safe distance, of course!) and collecting data about park usage, but they can’t be everywhere all the time. For those of you that are interested, please share your observations. We created an online survey for public to use to let us know how the parks are being used at this time. Submit info about a park you visit.

 

REMINDER: Group Sports are NOT Permitted

This include games of soccer in our parks and fields.

Information for hikers from Vermont Forests, Parks & Recreation

Top Tips:

  • Recreate locally: keep travel to local areas or less than 10 miles. Travel only with household members.
  • Respect mud season conditions.
  • Engage in low-risk activities. Now is not the time to do anything that might send you to the ER!
  • Practice good social distancing even outside.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash you hands.
  • Please leash your dog! They are members of your household and need to keep their social distance as well (most standard leashes are 6 feet in length).

Read the full statement.

 

REMEMBER: Maintain Safe Social Distancing Even When You’re Outside

Have Fun & Stay Safe Outside.
YOU help prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus by practicing social distancing.

Want to use this graphic for your communications? CLICK HERE to access the files.

 
Yes, our parks and trails are still open. Getting outside, while physically distancing, is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. As people continue to gather in parks, and as most people are doing so carefully, we welcome people getting outside but want to ensure that they are doing so safely. Please follow posted signs that reaffirm social distancing measures in parks and playgrounds.

 

Please do get outside for fresh air, exercise and recreation. But remember to KEEP SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCES at all time

  • Be advised that PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT IS NOT SANITIZED
  • DO NOT go outside to parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms
  • Be prepared for limited access to restrooms and water fountains

Dog owners, for the health and safety of our community, please follow COVID-19 Dog Park Guidance until further notice:

  • If you can avoid the dog park, please do so
  • If not, practice social distancing
  • Please do not touch other people’s dogs
  • As always, SCOOP THE POOP

 

North Beach Campground

Starting Wednesday 2/25, guests from the Anew Place BTV Low Barrier Shelter will be moving into 27 fully functioning campers in our North Beach Campground to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our homeless neighbors in Vermont.

This move will alleviate the close proximity of guests at the BTV Low Barrier Shelter and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In this situation, guests will now be in an environment where they will be able to maintain important social distancing measures for their health.

At North Beach, the BTV Low Barrier Shelter will continue to provide all of its daily meals and services for the guests, but just in a safer environment for the guests, staff, and volunteers.

Additional support for this project comes from Vermont State Office of Economic Opportunity, Burlington’s Emergency Operations Center

 

Staff Support & Availability

The Parks, Recreation and Waterfront department plays a vital role in this community. Even in times of such uncertainty as this, our parks will continue to be places where our community can go to recreate or find a quiet place of refuge. BPRW customer service staff will continue to be a much needed resource for the community. Our Recreation staff will help make sure our children and seniors that rely on our services are receiving regular meals. Some of our staff will help support Burlington School District student meal deliveries at school locations and housing locations throughout the City. Read this flyer for complete details. We will also be delivering daily meals to our participants from the Champlain Senior Center. Our recreation team is working on developing virtual activities and programs for everyone. So stay tuned! Our Facilities team and custodian staff will ensure places are clean, and the list goes on for all the ways we provide an essential service to our community.

In an effort to reduce the spread of the virus, some of our staff will be working from home for those in positions where it is feasible to do so.  This plan serves not just the health of our community, but our employees as well. Our custodial staff that cleans the municipal building and public spaces has implemented prioritized cleaning coverage focusing on disinfecting high traffic area surfaces.

Our dedicated customer service team will still be available by phone to answer any questions. Please call 802-864-0123. You may also use our online program registration portal to view the status of future programs https://secure.rec1.com/VT/burlington-vt/catalog Partial refunds will be rolled out to those affected by the program cancellations. Please be patient as we address this issue.

The Lakeview Cemetery Office is also currently closed and that any questions should be directed to Holli at the cemetery number (802) 863-2075, or emailed to me hbushnell@burlingtonvt.gov.

 

Closures & Cancellations

As of 3/16 at 3:30pm, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced further adjustments to the City’s strategy to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Following directives from the Governor and Department of Health to further limit person to person exposure, all programs for the public, including paid recreation programs, will be cancelled until April 6th.

This means that all of our recreation programs and drop-in programs will NOT take place, effective immediately. This suspension will also apply to groups that have rented our facilities for their activities.

As of Wednesday morning March 18, all of our recreation buildings will be closed to the public:

  • Miller Recreation Center on Gosse Court
  • The CORE (part of the ONE Community Center) on Allen Street
  • Leddy Ice Arena

Closures and program suspensions are planned to remain in effect until April 6th.

Program & Event Cancellations:

  • Kids Day
  • Round Robin Pickleball tournament
  • Family Comedy Night at the CORE on 4/17
  • all recreation programs
  • Branch Out Burlington! events:
    • Pruning Workshop – Saturday, March 21
    • Tree Seminar (The Birds & The Trees) – Saturday, March 28
    • Tree Keeper Training – Thursday, April 2

Stay healthy,

Your BPRW staff