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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Skip Navigation LinksLake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority > COVID-19 Updates

​​​​​​COVID-19​ Updates

May 15

​Conservation Areas​ Reopening by May 29

On the heels of the Provincial announcement lifting additional pandemic restrictions, we're working to reopen conservation areas across the watershed by Friday, May 29, 2020

As we move forward with our phased approach to reopening, we'll post regular updates about openings and closures​ on our Conservation Areas webpages​.

May 10

​Conservation Area Closures

Our Conservation Areas are different from Provincial Conservation Reserves and Provincial Parks which are owned and operated by the Province. Our conservation areas will remain closed until further notice

This includes the following Conservation Areas:

  • Scanlon Creek, Bradford
  • Sheppard's Bush, Aurora
  • Thornton Bales, King
  • Whitchurch, Stouffville
  • Beaver River Wetlands, between Uxbridge and Cannington
  • Durham Regional Forest (Main Tract)​

Please stay safe by observing our closures. 

April 22

​Forestry

Delays and logistical challenges this year means our tree planting programs aren't running as usual.

  • The DIY Tree Seedling Sale is not happening. The pickup day at Scanlon for April 25th has been cancelled. Clients are being contacted directly and provided with a few options.
  • We're not able to undertake Full Service Tree Planting Projects in 2020, but those scheduled for this year have already been rescheduled for 2021. And we are still definitely available to start the process for new projects moving forward.​
  • Community Tree Planting Spring Events that use potted shrubs instead of seedlings are being assessed case by case to determine if fall events may be possible. Those partners are being contacted directly too. If you'd like to learn about our community planting options, we're still here to talk!

​Restoration

We are still accepting and processing new funding applications. Our staff continue to be available to discuss your project ideas and how our grants might help you! Please note that site visits will be assessed on an 
as-needed basis moving forward. ​

​Planning and Development Update

As you may be aware, our team has been working remotely since March 17, 2020. We are available via email, video or voice conference using Microsoft Teams or ZOOM. Please reach out to your planning or regulations contact by email about your file.

General inquiries can be sent to:

Planning: Kelly Nesbitt k.nesbitt@LSRCA.on.ca​​
Regulations: Gessica Pizzuto ​g.pizzuto@LSRCA.on.ca

Kelly and Gessica will be happy to connect you with the app​ropriate staff member to address your inquiry.​

Read our FAQs for more information​ on how Planning ​and Development Services are operating at this time.

​April 3​

Restoration

Funding Program ​

Our Restoration Project Specialists are still accepting funding applications. We encourage our landowners to utilize our online services and our specialists will review plans and sites remotely and provide any responses or inspections digitally if possible. If required, we will conduct site visits as long as the landowner permits us to access to the property without personal contact with individuals or the need to access touchpoints such as gates.​

Spring Events

We're continuing to evaluate the situation and determine how best to proceed with spring community events. We have not made any final decisions regarding the cancellation or postponement of these events in this rapidly changing context. We'll be taking our cues from the Public Health authorities and their recommendations and will provide updates via email and on this page once this information has been finalized. Your patience is appreciated as we navigate what this means for our community partners, the trees we've ordered, and all the plans put in place so far. If you have any specific questions, please reach out to us at restoration@lsrca.on.ca. ​

March 31

​Forestry

Full Service Planting

At this time, the forestry team is proceeding with our usual tree planting preparations. We are always interested in pursuing new opportunities and will also continue to schedule site visits for late summer. Please contact us at forestry@LSRCA.on.ca for specific inquiries as they may relate to COVID-19 concerns.

DIY Tree Seedling Sale Pickup Day

At this point in time the seedling sale pickup day is happening. We are now determining when it can happen and focusing on what precautions we need to take for the safety of our staff and you,​ our clients. Please check this page for updates. We will also email our customers with details. 

March 24

Conservation Areas CLOSED during COVID-19, effective immediately

Effective immediately, all of our Conservation Areas are closed until further notice. 

This includes the following Conservation Areas:

  • Scanlon Creek, Bradford​
  • Sheppard's Bush, Aurora
  • Thornton Bales, King
  • Rogers Reservoir, East Gwillimbury
  • Whitchurch, Stouffville
  • Durham Regional Forest, south and west of Uxbridge
  • Beaver River Wetlands, between Uxbridge and Cannington​
Stay safe by observing our closures. ​

Due to the non-essential nature of our conservation areas, we are no longer able to maintain trails, hazard trees and undertake other non-essential services during COVID-19.

This difficult decision was made in support of legislation put in place by the province to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our watershed residents as safe as possible throughout this trying time.

We hope that taking these steps now means we can get back to enjoying these trails and green areas again soon. We'll post any changes to this closure on this webpage, as well as on our social media channels. Thank you for your understanding as we all do our part to flatten the curve of this virus.

Because we know that the outdoors, fresh air, sunshine and all the sounds, smells and sights of nature are so therapeutic and mood boosting, we do encourage you to find ways to still get outside and enjoy nature as you can.

  • In an apartment​, open up those windows or use your balcony.
  • In a home with a yard, no matter how small, put out a c​hair and sit outside.
  • Walking around your neighbourhood is still permitted, so long as you keep your distance from others.

And did you know that even watching nature from your phone or TV can help? We're working to bring you some neat activities that anyone can do. Check us out on Facebook or Instagram​.


March 19 - Conservation Areas

​All of our Conservation Areas will continue to be open to the public, dawn until dusk​, until further notice. We encourage you visit some greenspace for your physical and mental health during COVID-19.

​To ensure any and all individuals and families access these outdoor spaces, we are waiving our parking fees. Enjoy these spots free of charge!

During COVID-19 using our conservation areas safely includes:

  • Staying home if you are sick or have been in contact ​with someone who is sick
  • Enjoying the conservation area alone or with your immediate family. In keeping with Public Health recommendations, we strongly discourage gatherings of groups of people. 
  • Using the trails safely by keeping a distance of two arms lengths (6 ft / 2 m) between yourself and other visitors, otherwise known as practicing social distancing. 
  • Use your loo before you visit, washroom facilities will be unavailable during this time. ​

For other ways on preparing for your visit, check out the official rules. 

Need some more inspiration on ways to enjoy yourself in nature? Tune in to our Facebook channel as our outdoor experts are gearing up to feature things to do and ways to see your outdoor world like never before. Special kids activities too! ​

March 17

As the situation caused by COVID-19 continues to evolve, we have made the decision to close our offices beginning March 17, 2020. Although the office will be closed, we will continue to operate remotely. 

This means that staff will be available by telephone to assist you as necessary and essential services such as flood forecasting and monitoring will continue.

Staff in our planning and development department will also be able to assist with electronic permit and development submissions. Please refer to the following points for reference on how we will be proceeding in the interim period.

  1. Submissions of material, files or supporting documentation can be made digitally to your respective contact or please use infomail@lsrca.on.ca​.
  2. Submissions via courier or mail will continue to be accepted unless these respective services are suspended. These will be sorted and staff will pick up submissions once a week. 
  3. A drop-box will be installed in the front vestibule of the LSRCA head office at 120 Bayview Parkway. Submissions/material can be dropped off at anytime after March 18.
  4. Staff will be available to participate in conference calls, regular phone calls and/or virtual meetings.
  5. Staff will not be able to attend external meetings during this time.
  6. Permits will be issued electronically via email.
  7. All correspondence issued will be electronic.
  8. Payments will be still be processed. We are working on an approach for routine permit fees to be paid either via phone or online. This will be communicated in more detail with applicants.

Our Conservation Areas will continue to be open to the public. Please continue to stay diligent and practice social distancing while you enjoy the fresh air. 

While we anticipate reopening our offices on Monday, April 6, we will continue monitoring  this situation closely and will provide updates as needed.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate through this unprecedented event​.

March 13

With growing concerns around COVID-19, we want to provide you with an update on our commitment moving forward. The health, safety and well-being of our staff and visitors is our top priority and we are following the lead of our local public health units, as well as provincial and federal health officials.

We are committed to providing a safe environment and are actively taking steps to protect our staff, clients and the broader community. We have increased the frequency of our cleaning and cancelled upcoming programs such as March Break Camp and Family Forest Friday.

To protect yourself and others, we ask that anyone who is feeling unwell avoid visiting our offices.

Instead, please contact us by phone or email:

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates as needed.