Fraser River Discovery Centre reopening its doors in New West

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After months on his own, George the sturgeon is looking forward to having some visitors to Fraser River Discovery Centre.

Fraser River Discovery Centre, located on New Westminster’s waterfront, will be reopening to the public on July 7. Along with offering a variety of programs about the Mighty Fraser, the centre is home to various exhibits, hands-on attractions and displays, including George the sturgeon.

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“As we head into the summer months, the centre is a great place for residents as well as tourists from across B.C. who are doing ‘staycations’ this year,” said Stephen Bruyneel, director of external relations and development.  “We will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and our goal is to provide our guests with the safest possible way to enjoy learning about the living, working Fraser River.”

Closed since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fraser River Discovery Centre has developed a reopening safety plan based on WorkSafeBC guidelines and has created new safety and health procedures to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.

“We are excited to be able to welcome back visitors of all ages as of July 7,” Bruyneel said in a press release. “Their health and safety are our top priority, and we have put in a lot of work to ensure our guests can once again safely enjoy our exhibits and programs.”

Key elements in Fraser River Discovery Centre’s reopening plan include the providing hand sanitizer stations, cleaning and disinfecting during the day, using personal protective equipment and introducing physical distancing measures. Occupancy limits will ensure there will be a maximum of 50 people in the building at any one time, and there will be restrictions on the number of people in the Canyon Theatre, gift shop, bathrooms and elevator.

Home to a number of educational and public programs, Fraser River Discovery Centre is also reducing the number of in-person programs, such as cancelling birthday parties for now as they present problems for social distancing. It’s also moving some programs, including its Faces of the Fraser and Fraser River Dialogues, to an online format.

Riverfest – an annual celebration of the Fraser River that takes place at the centre and on the waterfront – will feature a combination of online and small-group events. Summer camps are still a go, but they’re being limited to no more than 10 students per camp.

Fraser River Discovery Centre is located at 788 Quayside Dr. For more information visit www.fraserriverdiscovery.org.

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