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Boating and golf return to Buffalo and Erie County, is camping next?

Office of County Executive Mark Poloncarz

Amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, there are some signs of spring - and hope - in Buffalo and Erie County. Some outdoor activities are being allowed to resume, though with COVID-19 related distancing restrictions.

Erie Basin Marina opened Friday, announced City of Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn. Marine vendors Smith Boys, he stated, have prepared a distancing plan. Not all facilities will be open, however.

"The observation tower will remain closed throughout the PAUSE order," said Finn. "It's not feasible to social distance as you're going up and down those stairs. The Ship Store and the public bathrooms also will remain closed until further notice. We ask the general public who is going to be using those facilities, to do so in a way that is complying with social distancing, the same as our parks."

Golf will open Saturday at two of the city's three public courses, Delaware and Cazenovia Parks. But under a plan put together by the Buffalo Olmstead Parks system, players will be required to reserve their tee time and pay in advance. Golfers may do so by logging on to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy's website.

Meanwhile, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Friday that while he has extended an emergency order on campgrounds, he has submitted an amended order to the State Health Department for approval. Should state officials say yes, campers with self-contained RVs would be allowed on campsites.

"If somebody has a tent camp, and they need to use the bathrooms that are provided... because we cannot guarantee the safety of those bathrooms, those would still be prohibited," Poloncarz said. "But if you have a recreational vehicle, if there's a permanent building that has a bathroom associated, those would be allowed at camp sites across Erie County."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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