Among the many uncertainties that we face during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is understandable that you may question whether to visit parks, trails, or open spaces during this time. You are not alone; Park Pride shares your concerns.
First, it is critical that–while visiting any location outside of your home, including parks and trails–you follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a supporter of Park Pride, you are aware of the mental and physical health benefits associated with visiting parks and nature. Though playgrounds, courts, restrooms, and recreation centers are closed, it is no surprise that more and more people are turning to neighborhood greenspaces and trails to relieve stress.
However, during a time of crisis, we need vigilance. Therefore, Park Pride strongly recommends visiting a park only if:
- You’re going to your neighborhood park (not traveling to a larger, regional park across town),
- You’re visiting alone or only with members of your direct household,
- The park is not crowded, and you’re able to maintain six feet of distance from other park goers at all times,
- You can avoid contact with any hard surfaces on which the coronavirus can survive for an extended period of time; avoid playgrounds (they’re closed!), exercise equipment, water fountains, benches, etc.
If you cannot ensure that your park visit will meet the criteria above, we encourage you to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine available on a walk around your block, in your backyard, from your porch, or from a window.
At our core, Park Pride is a community building and strengthening organization. It is not in our nature to dissuade families and communities from gathering in our city’s greenspaces. Yet, we are facing an unprecedented public health crisis which demands our attention and response. Your health and wellness, and the health of your family and neighbors, is our primary concern right now.
The situation is constantly evolving, and our recommendations may change again soon.
What we can tell you for certain is that there will be a time on the other side of this pandemic where we will gather, play, picnic, and party in parks together once again. But until then, we must all do our part to stop the spread of this virus.
The entire team at Park Pride