A plan to gradually reopen Ferry Island Campground is drawing some criticism.
The campground is set to open May 19, just after the long weekend, but only for locals with “self-contained units” such as RVs or trailers. Tents will not be allowed.
The restriction on tents is due to a lack of bathrooms and showers, which remain closed at the campground for the time being, said Carmen Didier, director of leisure services for the City.
“It will not be possible to keep these facilities sanitary or maintain physical distancing while using them,” she said. “We are requiring self-contained units with a working washroom and running water as this will ensure users can manage their own environment more effectively.”
Didier said the tenting restriction is only temporary and the City hopes to lift it soon, taking guidance from the Province.
Some said the tenting ban is discriminatory as tent campers could arrange their own bathroom options.
“So camping for the rich. Nice,” wrote Hedwig Oleck in a Facebook response to a City of Terrace bulletin announcing the reopening. “You could make it that people have to bring a port-a-potty if that is the problem. Not impressed.”
Outhouses along the walking trails will remain open, however, the City’s bulletin said, and will be cleaned frequently.
In order to minimize non-essential travel those who wish to camp on Ferry Island must show ID indicating they are residents of the City of Terrace or one of two electoral districts in the immediate outskirts of Terrace, according to the City’s bulletin. There is an electoral map posted to the City of Terrace website indicating exactly where those zones are.
There will be a limit of six campers per campfire, and physical distancing must be observed between people who are not from the same household, the bulletin said. There will be a limit of one RV (or similar) per campsite.
”The campground operator will be responsible for monitoring the campfire regulation and separating larger gatherings should they happen,” Didier said.
Park staff will regularly disinfect campground infrastructure such as water taps, garbage can lids, and picnic tables, according to the bulletin.
Despite the controversy, some people said they were happy with the gradual reopening of the campground.
“Awesome idea,” wrote Lorne Wallington on Facebook in response to the bulletin. “Great job by the City to give locals a place for a staycation.”