The Friends of Kananaskis Country recognize how the current COVID-19 situation is very fluid and unpredictable. We are actively monitoring the situation in terms of how it could affect or change our programs. As more information becomes available, we will communicate the direction of our 2020 Trail Care season. As always, everyone’s health and safety are paramount and we will continue to have this as our primary focus.
We also recognise that many you may be using recreational trails and the backcountry as a way to cope with the unprecedented challenges regarding COVID-19. As outlined in the below message from the Kananaskis Country Public Safety team, everyone is encouraged to take conservative decisions with regards to terrain, activity and risk-taking. More on this below.
Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section, Alberta Parks
March 18 at 8:47 AM
The Kananaskis Country public safety team is asking for cooperation from Kananaskis backcountry users to choose outdoor activities that are low-risk during the COVID-19 response. Users should choose activities in areas that support emergency access and present minimal challenges and/or hazards. Backcountry assistance has the potential to add unnecessary stress to the health care system, put public safety staff at risk, including to exposure to COVID-19, which could then impact resources to support search and rescue.
Thanks for your assistance during this challenging time.
Visit the Kananaskis Country Public Safety – Facebook page for additional public safety messages.
Closures to Parks
On March 24th, 2020, Parks Canada announced the closure of all parking access to all areas of the National Parks as a result of crowding issues that occurred this past weekend. Crowded places are not appropriate at this time. K-Country was not spared from this crowding over the weekend.
As of March 24, Alberta Parks remain accessible; however facilities, including toilets, picnic shelters, warm-up huts, and winter camping, are closed. All events and programs have been cancelled. Alberta Parks is consulting with Alberta Health Services and the Chief Medical Officer on the status of provincial parks remaining accessible.
While it is still possible to find space and physical distancing in K-Country (and initially, we were planning on giving you our recommendations to do just that), much as Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association has done — there are better times to do that. We at the Friends think that circumstances today warrant this advice: For the sake of you, your loved ones, and everyone else: stay home for a while.
Click HERE for more information regarding how Alberta Environment and Parks is responding to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Be Safe and Take Care
by Nancy Ouimet, Executive Director and Derek Ryder, Co-Chair