Seattle Parks and Recreation news and events

Alki,
Arboretum, Cal Anderson, Carkeek, Discovery, Gas Works, Green Lake, Golden
Gardens, Kubota Garden, Lincoln, Magnuson, Seward, Volunteer, West Seattle
Stadium, Woodland

SPD and
SPR Crews and Ambassadors Will Be Onsite to Remind Individuals to Comply

CDC and
DOH Recommends Individuals to Wear Cloth Face Masks When in Public

SEATTLE (April 9, 2020) –  Because of continued gatherings in major parks and crowded public places, the City of Seattle announced today the full closure of major regional parks this weekend where social distancing guidelines have not been followed by patrons. Seattle is joining major cities like Austin and Los Angeles across the country in closing major parks for the weekend. The change is effective Friday, April 10th at 11pm and parks reopen on Monday, April 13 at 4:30 am.

Data shows that social distancing measures are effectively reducing the transmission rate, but any easing of those measures could lead to a resurgence in transmission. Moreover, all city departments are having to adjust to the impacts that COVID-19 has had on employees, their families and the city workforce. 

“These are the beautiful weather days we
crave all winter, but we are living in unprecedented times and the Governor’s
order isn’t stay out – it’s stay home. Seattle’s frontline medical
workers,  vulnerable residents, and displaced workers need you to stay
home. While Seattle is expecting near perfect weather, friends and families
should not have family or friend outings, picnics or gatherings in parks. Stay
home unless you need to go to an essential job or business.  If you need
to take a walk in your neighborhood, be smart and don’t help create a crowded
place. Too many friends, residents and families are continuing to gathering for
picnics, BBQs, basketball games, and group walks.  Because we still are in
danger of a spike in infections, hospitalizations and deaths we have to keep
doing out part. Easing up on social distancing too early will put more people
at risk, could overwhelm our health care system, and could delay the reopening
of businesses. Stay home, and if you must leave your home, be smart, follow
social distancing guidelines by stay at lease six feet from everyone and wear a
mask” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Our collective effort has made an impact
flattening the curve, but we must continue or face even greater and longer term
consequences.”

Closing these parks temporarily will
help ensure more people are keeping the distancing they need to from other
people. While our neighborhood parks will remain open, the city will consider
closing them or making temporary closures longer term if visitors can’t follow
safety guidelines. While the City of Seattle has closed parking lots at the
largest regional parks, significant gatherings and disregard for social
distancing have continued.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s eight
destination parks Green Lake, Lincoln, Golden Gardens, Seward Park, Magnuson
Park, Gas Works, Alki Beach, and Discovery, as well as Cal Anderson, Carkeek,
Woodland Park, Volunteer Park, Kubota Garden, West Seattle Stadium, and the
Washington Park Arboretum will close on Friday, April 10th at 11pm and will
reopen Monday, April 12 at 4:30 am.. Stan Sayres, Magnuson, Don Armeni, and
Atlantic St boat launches are also closed. Trails at Lake Washington Boulevard
will remain open, but group gatherings will be prohibited. Rattlesnake Lake
Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail will remain closed. Next week, the
City will is evaluating and implementing a park by park plan to ensure residents
can safely utilize larger regional parks when they reopen.

“The Police Department is asking
community members to continue to follow the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy
order.  Seattle has worked so hard to flatten the COVID curve in our
region, now is not the time for our community to become complacent,” said Chief
Carmen Best.  “The Police Department supports the Mayor’s decision to
close the parks, and we will work with the Parks Department to carry out this
order.  However, the Seattle Police Department cannot police us out this
pandemic.  Please stay at home for the health and safety of your family,
friends, and loved ones.”

“As the weather has warmed up over the
past few days, we’ve seen more and more people heading out to our regional
parks, this has created a significant threat to the health and safety of our
community. We are closing these parks to more firmly support the Stay Home,
Stay Healthy order, and to keep our most vulnerable neighbors safe,” said Jesus
Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent.

Under the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay
Healthy order, residents are encouraged stay home. If necessary, residents can
visit 479 local neighborhood parks so long as they:

  • Practice social distancing: respect the minimum 6 feet of separation recommended by the CDC. While on trails, warn other users of their presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass.
  • Do not access off limits equipment or areas: last month, Seattle and King County closed all play areas and other high touch areas, such as picnic shelters, tables, and outdoor exercise equipment.
  • Do not congregate in parks: this means no pick-up games, no picnics, BBQs, parties,or bonfires.
  • Maintain six feet of separation for activities: hiking, biking, walking are all great ways to enjoy parks right now, just remember to give a wide berth to your fellow residents.
  • Stay home if they are feeling sick.
  • Practice good hygiene: follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.

SPR and SPD will deploy staff to
encourage social distancing at these highly frequented parks as well as
locations such as Cal Anderson and Volunteer Park.

For more information about Rattlesnake
Lake Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail, the public can call (206)
733‐9421 or email crwprograms@seattle.gov.

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