The gates to Halifax Public Gardens will remain locked for the time being, despite the unseasonably warm weather.
Brian Phelan, HRM’s superintendent of parks and open spaces, said while the weather conditions are favourable, there is still much work to be done before the public can enjoy the gardens.
“We’re still nowhere near opening time, even though you look out the window today and it’s quite nice,” Phelan said. “There’s a drainage issue in the gardens, and the pathways are like a sponge, and the turf is very, very fragile and sensitive to compaction. We can’t even consider getting in there for a while yet.”
Phelan said there is some limited work being done now, such as pruning and cleaning up from the winter. Due to the drainage situation, however, full-scale efforts will have to wait.
“We do have a few parks maintenance staff in there cleaning up and doing some prep work,” he said. “But it’s still a little early to get in there in full-force of spring prep work.”
He also noted the majority of parks staff are still tied up in winter works, which handles snow removal and maintenance.
Phelan added it’s possible for a limited opening — cordoning off those sections of the gardens that still need work, while opening up the rest to the public.
“(That would) be part of our early opening strategy,” he said.
The gardens may still open ahead of schedule, however.
“Typically we open in the second week of May, but now we’re thinking on opening maybe the very last of April,” Phelan said.