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Winter home of the Snow Geese and one of Canada's top birdwatching sites.
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Updates on Closures and Covid-19 Restrictions

Last updated May 4, 2021

We re-opened for business as of March 2nd for limited visitor use and on a reservation only system. The booking system (see below) has been reactivated and made live again for bookings.

The Sanctuary was closed from Christmas Day to the end of February in support of ongoing provincial and regional initiatives to reduce Covid-19 spread through community contact. The closure was also the result of concerns expressed by some visitors about other visitors demonstrating lack of physical distancing and inappropriate large gatherings along the Sanctuary trails.

Now that we are open again, it will be very important to us that visitors feel that their concerns about potential exposure to Covid-19 from other visitors are recognized. Some visitors may be drawn here as a destination with their friends and family, others may be here specifically to avoided crowded conditions and to keep away from all other people.

Our Covid-19 Safety protocols are followed by staff, but we also depend upon all of our visitors to do their part. Please remember physical distancing rules and the original Covid-19 catch-phrases from Dr. Bonnie Henry when dealing with others at our facility. Be Kind. Be Calm. Be Safe.

Please read the following document and acknowledge the following terms and conditions for visiting the Sanctuary in 2021.

Current Terms and Conditions for Visiting the Sanctuary

We expect all visitors to:

Recognize the contagious nature of the Covid-19 virus in that:

  • It has been declared a world-wide pandemic of a highly contagious nature.
  • Global, federal, provinicial and local measures have enacted restrictions to help prevent its spread.
  • Preventative measures have been put in place at the Sanctuary to help reduce its spread.

Help reduce the spread of Covid-19 by not visiting here if:

  • You have travelled outside of Canada or within a highly impacted area within the last 14 days.
  • You have been identified by Public Health as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or have been told to isolate by Public Health.
  • You believe that you have been exposed to someone with a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19.
  • You are displaying any of the following new or worsening symptoms: Fever or chills; Extreme fatigue; Cough or tiredness; Loss of sense of smell or taste; Headache; Body aches; Difficulty breathing; Nausea or vomiting; Sore throat; Diarrhea; Loss of appetite.

While planning your visit, acknowledge that visitors are subject to related restrictions such as:

  • Times and dates of visits (only through our reservation system). Please do not drive out here expecting to drop in without booking. This creates unnecessary additional contacts with our gate staff and extra traffic on Westham Island.
  • Social gatherings are limited to household units as per current Public Health Orders.

Help reduce the spread of Covid-19 during your visit

  • Wash your hands or clean them with hand sanitizer before and after your visit.
  • Obey posted occupancy limits of indoor spaces such as the Gift Shop and indoor washroom facilities.
  • Maintain physical distances of 2 metres from other visitors.
  • Avoid gathering in large groups that inconvenience other visitors.
  • Avoid walking narrow trails with a group, and pass oncoming visitors single file to give ebveryone space.
  • Wear masks in indoor spaces, and keep masks with you to wear outdoors whenever physical distancing from other visitors is not possible because of trail width or other factors.

 

I understand and agree to these terms and conditions.

Safety Plan


The Sanctuary is now closed on Mondays to allow maintenance without crowding visitors. It also will not be operating at full capacity. Visitors must now book their visit through a new reservation system. The timing of reservations allows us to do extra cleaning at mid-day and end of day. Gathering areas such as the Picnic Area and Warming Hut are currently closed. Staff and volunteers will have hand sanitizer available. Please wear masks in all indoor spaces (Gift Shop, Washrooms, Bird Blinds) and whenever physical distancing is not possible along trails.

The washrooms are small, so please practice safe physical distancing and keep to the occupancy limit of three people. Although we created extra sinks in an nearby outdoor handwashing station, this seasonal feature is now closed for the winter and will re-open in spring.

Our trails are variable in width and signs are now up suggesting ways to pass by other visitors while still physically distancing.

Please avoid gathering in large groups or blocking trails for others. Picnicking is currently not allowed anywhere in the Sanctuary. NOTE: Bear in mind recent restrictions about group size and travel restrictions between regions in BC. Keep to your household group size, please and remember to physically distance from others during your walk.

We are currently not taking bookings for self-guided groups or for our programs or encouraging any visitors to gather outside of their own household units.