The District of Sparwood hosted a Carp Scavenger hunt to engage residents by asking them to track down the 20 carp flags flying around town on May 5. Photo Submitted

District of Sparwood reopens public parks and recreation spaces

The district also celebrated Children’s Day with their Japanese sister city recently

With the onset of spring comes a number of changes and programming for the District of Sparwood.

Among the most pivotal of this week’s announcements was that as of May 6, 2020, all parks, sports fields, tennis, basketball, and pickle ball courts within the District of Sparwood are once again open for public use. Even so, access is restricted to only individuals and family units.

Users of the reopened areas are to continue practicing social distancing, and are recommended to use hand sanitizer prior to and following the use of such facilities. The District of Sparwood also urges users of these locations to self monitor, not to share sporting equipment, and to refrain from access if social distancing is not possible.

At the moment, group sporting activities still remain prohibited, as does access to playgrounds and the Sparwood skatepark, though the district is looking into ways to safely reopen these areas in the near future.

On May 5, Sparwood celebrated Japanese Kodomo no hi, or Children’s Day, alongside their sister city, Kamisunagawa. Children’s Day, a national holiday, is set to bestow respect upon the strength of children. To honour the celebration while continuing to foster a connection with Kamisunagawa, the District of Sparwood raised carp banners throughout town.

While the typical flag raising ceremony was unfortunately cancelled, other related festivities ensued as homes throughout the district shared in celebrations by placing coloured carps in their windows. The carp are believed to be powerful fish known for their determination in battling upstream and through waterfalls. The Koinobori, or cloth carp streamers, are typically flown on poles outside of homes and public buildings to bring good luck to the children inside.

To further celebrate, the District of Sparwood also created a Carp Scavenger Hunt, wherein they flew 20 carp in five locations throughout town. To participate, residents were to take photos where all 20 carp were raised for a chance to win a prize.

In terms of improvements throughout the district, on Monday May 4, 2020, BA Blacktop began the Sparwood Sidewalk Improvements Project. The project requires concrete work to occur in various locations throughout the district, and is set to run through until the end of June.

The District of Sparwood will also soon start the annual Mosquito Control Program. The program is set in place to control mosquitoes, with the benefit and safety of the public in mind. While the program takes place, Duka Environmental staff will be sampling for larvae on properties known to possess larval mosquito development habitat. The staff will be wearing high visibility vests and name tags as they assess various ponds, marches, flooded area, ditches, and cattail in the area. To maintain social distancing protocols, the staff will not be contacting affected residents in person, but rather will be using doorknob hangers to communicate treatments, findings, and contact information when necessary.

Lastly, with farmers markets being deemed an essential service according to the Ministry of Health, the Sparwood Market is set to run this upcoming season and is currently sourcing vendors. This year’s market season is set to run from June 26 until September 4 on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Titan Park. At this time, only food vendors are currently being accepted, including those selling vegetables, fruit, eggs, baked goods, and items from food trucks.

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