Too many people who are flocking to Seattle area parks and other places like Snoqualmie Falls to avoid going stir crazy are ignoring social distancing precautions.
Police have been forced to disband large groups at places like Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill and Alki Beach. People are also ignoring the closure of all active recreation facilities like playgrounds and basketball courts.
The city is already discussing the possibility of completely closing all parks if people continue to disregard distancing safety measures. Stiff fines and potentially jail time would be imposed on anyone ignoring park closures if they are shut down.
We need to maintain access to parks so we have a place to get outside in these stressful times! Don’t ruin it for everyone. Keep your distance from other people at all times.
What you can do:
Talk to your neighbors, family, and friends about this and stress the importance of compliance so that we don’t lose all access to parks.
Discuss the issue on your social media platforms. Cities everywhere are experiencing the same problem.
When you go out, avoid choosing a popular park as your destination. Maybe visit small oddball parks in your area that don’t usually draw very many people. Or if it’s a large park, go to an area that is maybe more boring, but doesn’t have many or any people in it.
If you have your own transportation consider visiting a county park instead of a city park. Most county parks are quite large and many tend to be less crowded. (Links to the Snohomish, King, and Pierce County parks websites are located in the Links section on this page.)
If you go to a park with your immediate family or roommate (your quarantine unit) don’t mingle your group with other groups or individuals This isn’t the time to get chatty with strangers.
Don’t allow your children to play with other children, as difficult as that is. Don’t allow your children to use playgrounds. Bring a ball to kick around, or a ball or Frisbee to play catch with. Play games.
If you have teens who go to parks to meet with friends tell them they need to stand or sit six feet apart while socializing. They’ll probably roll their eyes. But tell them if the police continue to observe closely bunched groups that the city will close down parks completely and then they’ll have nowhere to go.
If you are physically able, choose a park with extensive walking paths or hiking trails. This allows you to get out and away from other people.
Don’t forget that you can go to a park with a view and stay inside your car while you enjoy it. This avoids all contact.
Also, an update on closures. All state park campgrounds are now closed until April 30th.