Golf returns, but no camping in St. Clair until after Victoria Day

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Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative

St. Clair Township has given the okay to play golf but camping will wait a couple of days.

The municipality runs the St. Clair Parkway Golf Course and several parks.

Friday, St. Clair councillors decided the golf course will be the first thing to get rolling, with close to 200 members signed up to tee off on opening Saturday.

“The course is definitely rested and well ready because there hasn’t been any play. We have everything organized,” said director of community services and golf course superintendent Kendall Lindsay, outlining safety measures that have been put in place including those involving the clubhouse washrooms.

Only club members will be allowed to take the course at this time. Staff will be controlling traffic coming in and out of the course to ensure a smooth flow of tee times. Only one person will be allowed to travel per cart. 

Lindsay is encouraged that the links will be operating, but cautions that everyone coming to play needs to be smart and safe if they want the course to remain open.

“We’ve got one shot at it, and if we screw it up and get complaints the health inspector will be out,” Lindsay said. “We’re taking it very seriously. We want to make sure we do it right, the last thing we want to do is for it to be our fault that we’re shut down.”

Campers will have to wait a few more days for the season to start though, as council decided not to open their trio of campgrounds until Wednesday. The decision was made to allow staff at the Branton Cundick, Cathcart and Mooretown sites more time to prepare for the arrival of members

Council debated whether to allow anyone in this weekend to prepare their trailer for the year. Ultimately it was decided that nobody will be allowed in for any reason until May 20, citing the difficulty of having to monitor everybody who may enter.

“I don’t want to have our staff policing anybody. I don’t think that’s fair to them, and I don’t want them to have to be the COVID cop running around the campground,” says Mayor Steve Arnold during discussion on the matter.

Campers returning from the United States may quarantine at the site, but they would have their site designated as a quarantine zone, and be subject to check-ins by Canadian Border agents. 

St. Clair’s 39 transient campgrounds will remain closed by provincial order, and will converted to seasonal camp sites for this year.