This story was updated at 3:51 p.m. Monday with police spokesperson comment
Disappointed kids were turned away by Niagara police at the newly opened Beamsville skatepark and pump track Sunday due to a misunderstanding.
The new skate park in Beamsville, which was formally opened Saturday by town and regional dignitaries, was mistakenly closed by Niagara regional police (NRPS) yesterday, under provincial COVID-19 rules.
However, the park’s shutdown was a mistake. The provincial rules currently allow access to public parks.
A post to a town website said: “Given the ongoing battle against COVID-19 and the changing nature of public health recommendations, we will continue to update our community on the rules. For now, the park is open and we appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding. We have spoken to NRPS about the misunderstanding.”
“A bit of confusion. The police officer, a constable, thought the 25 for private gathering number applied,” explained Lincoln Town Manager Mike Kirkopoulos, adding, “This was clarified, and the issues rectified, but not until a little excitement ensued, and a bunch of us showed up.”
NRPS spokesperson Stephanie Sabourin said: “Concerns were raised and addressed at the skate park in terms of physical distancing in the current COVID-19 climate.”
Moving forward, Kirkopoulos said a park monitor will be on-site moving forward to hand out masks, and walk around to keep an eye on things. Facility users must wear masks as they ride.
Sabourin said the Niagara police continue to “work with our community partners in the interpretation, education and enforcement of the Emergency Orders in relation to COVID-19 in the interest of the safety of our community and limiting the potential spread of the virus.”
The skatepark was opened Saturday by Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton and town and regional dignitaries.
Teen dreams realized as Beamsville skatepark opens
Skatepark page on Facebook