Nature lovers can once again wander through the nine acres of lush gardens at the Horticulture of the Pacific (HCP) while observing new safety regulations.
Following a three-month closure due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the facility reopened on June 18 with new COVID-19 safety restrictions to keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe, explained general manager Deborah Donahue.
Physical distancing is required at all times and those not keeping a safe distance may be asked to leave. However, Donahue noted that with nine acres of winding paths, it’s not hard to steer clear of others. She added that with just 39 parking spaces, she’s certain there will never be too many visitors in the gardens.
Hand sanitizer is available for visitors at the front entrance and on-site washrooms will be disinfected once a day. Those who have COVID-19 symptoms, live with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms, have been outside Canada without self-isolating for 14 days or feel unwell will not be permitted in the gardens. Staff also recommend that anyone with pre-existing health conditions not attend.
“It’s the most serene place on Earth,” Donahue said.
Classes for adults and children are also resuming with enhanced safety precautions. Pre-registration is required and spots can be reserved online at hcp.ca or by phone at 250-479-6162.
Hours of operation have changed for the summer; the gardens are closed Monday to Wednesday but are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.