The Council, after long deliberation and careful consideration of the re-opening plans of the Province and Grey Bruce, has voted to allow seasonal campers to stay in Cape Croker Park. Cape Croker Park management has prepared a multi-phase plan to safely re-open the Park in stages. The plan has been reviewed by the Council, our health professionals, and the Community Emergency Response Group, guided by the very strong community feedback we’ve received expressing residents’ desire to keep Neyaashiinigmiing safe and COVID-19 free. The Park re-opening plan covers the remainder of the camping season, until the Park closes on October 12, 2020.
Many of the Park’s seasonal campers, those who book a campsite for the entire season, have been renting a seasonal spot for years and have made it a family tradition to summer in Neyaashiinigmiing. While some would have liked to return to the Park sooner, safety remains the paramount concern of the Council as we consider how to re-open Neyaashiinigmiing. The Council is taking a cautious approach to give us time to more carefully plan our re-opening, and assess the effects of steps taken toward re-opening. As we move forward, we are strictly limiting who may access the community – and the level of access that those admitted will enjoy.
Cape Croker Park is also an important part of our local economy, as an employer and net income generator. While the Park has been closed, our potential guests have certainly visited other camping sites around Grey Bruce that have re-opened under various protocols. This is immediately damaging to our revenues for this year, but could also hurt return business in future years if our guests staying elsewhere choose not to return to Cape Croker Park. Re-opening the Park in this safely limited fashion will honour our commitment to our seasonal campers, who booked their spots well-before the season opened, and help us maintain our competitiveness in the tourism industry during a difficult time.
Under Phase One of the plan, now being implemented, seasonal campers ONLY will be allowed to access their reserved sites, with limitations. Day camping remains closed. Public areas outside the Park will be off-limits to seasonal campers who must be largely self-sufficient in order to limit their contact with Neyaashiinigmiing residents.
The conditions of the Cape Croker Park Phase One re-opening include the following:
- Comfort Stations including showers and laundry to remain closed.
- Playground to be closed and physical barrier to be installed.
- Pavilion, Veterans Arbor, and Sacred Fire Arbor are to remain closed.
- Only one customer will be permitted in the Park Office at a time.
- Camping will be open to Seasonal Campers with a completed and signed Licence of Occupation (contract) for the 2020 season.
- The Contract is valid only for the “Family”, parents and dependent children. All Occupants of the site must be listed in the contract.
- Limited to Self Contained Trailers (with washroom facilities). Alternatively, campers can rent a portable toilet that will be placed on the campsite for their personal use.
- A Code of Conduct must be signed and kept on file in the park office.
- There will be no additional campers/overnight visitors allowed on the site.
- Campers must maintain physical distancing when in the park.
- Campers are not to gather in groups of more than 10 people.
- Campers must arrive at the Park between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM.
- The list of authorized Seasonal Campers will be provided to Chippewas Of Nawash Guardians at the monitoring station.
- Campers must display a validly issued camping pass on the dashboards of their vehicles.
We are grateful for the loyalty and understanding of our seasonal campers who are choosing to stay with us under greatly curtailed circumstances. The Council is especially grateful for the community’s support and patience as we navigate these unknown waters. The Council continues seek the best way forward for all of us. Together, as a community, we will survive and come out stronger than ever.