Some Mississauga conservation areas and trails to remain closed for now

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Even though the Ontario government announced the reopening of provincial parks and provincial conservation reserves beginning May 11, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) says its conservation areas and trails will remain closed for the time being. 

Rattray Marsh, Meadowvale Conservation Area, and the Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon are some areas that were closed in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Provincial conservation reserves are not the same as conservation areas. The province's announcement does not apply to conservation areas, which are owned by conservation authorities,"  CVC said in a news release. 

While that news might disappoint some people, nature lovers should note that the areas will open soon.

In the news release, CVC said it's initiating a planned, phased reopening of most of its trails.

Preparations include checking nearly 100 kilometres of trails for hazards and safety concerns, removing the closure barriers from 76 locations, preparing operations across the system for safe social distancing, changing park signage, performing enhanced maintenance and cleaning operations, and ensuring vendor support with services such as garbage pick-up.

CVC says it's also coordinating its changing parks status with municipal partner authorities (such as police and by-law officers) and other land management agencies.

"We understand people's frustrations and we look forward to welcoming visitors back as soon as it is safe to do so," said Terri LeRoux, Senior Manager, Property, Asset, Recreation and Conservation Area Services for CVC, in a statement. 

"The safety of our visitors and staff is our highest priority."

Until further notice, no members of the public, including Conservation Parks members, may use or enter CVC conservation area grounds or trails. 

CVC staff members will continue to enforce the closures.