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You could be drinking beers at these four Burnaby parks this month

Burnaby staff are recommending a pilot program for alcohol in parks beginning June 23.
Burnaby is one step closer to allowing drinking in public parks. Photo Linda Raymond/E+/Getty Images.

In less than a month, Burnaby residents could be sipping some bubbly outdoors in one of four of the city’s parks.

Burnaby council approved the possibility of allowing alcohol in city parks in May.

Staff are now recommending a pilot program begin with four parks:

  • Confederation Park (250 Willingdon Ave.)
  • Central Park (3883 Imperial St.)
  • Keswick Park (9452 Cardston Crt.)
  • Edmonds Park (7433 Edmonds St.)

If council approves the proposed bylaw, the pilot program would run from June 23 to Oct. 30.

Carmen Gonzalez, deputy general manager of parks, said staff decided to keep the pilot program “small and limited” to just the four parks, based on the experience of other municipalities who have run similar programs, according to a report going to council on June 5.

Gonzalez said each of the selected parks is accessible to transit and has access to washrooms, seating areas and waste disposal.

Drinking would be allowed in parks between dawn to dusk seven days a week, which the report notes is when city parks are open to the public.

There are some restrictions, including:

  • within 10 metres of a playground, pool, skate bowl, parking lot or sport court
  • any artificial turf surface or any trail, pathway, natural parkland or forested areas
  • within 10 metres of a playing field while in use

It will not also be allowed in indoor buildings within the parks.

The program will see more park attendants assigned to monitor Keswick Park and Edmonds Park, while Confederation and Central parks already have a “proactive staff presence.”

Additional temporary waste bins will be installed at Keswick Park, and signage explaining the program will also be placed in the parks.

If violations arise, staff recommend a penalty of $200 and a discounted amount of $160 if paid within 15 days.

Various city departments plan to evaluate the program over the summer.