Although state-managed parks are to remain closed, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has decided to reopen all City parks this weekend.
In response to Governor Jay Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the temporary closure of all state-managed parks, wildlife areas, and water areas through May 4.
Seattle’s open parks come with some restrictions though.
“The social distancing necessary to keep us healthy will mean a new normal for Seattle’s parks… please no crowds, no gatherings, and keep it moving,” the mayor said in a news release.
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As part of these changes, Seattle Parks and Recreation has installed hundreds of signs reminding park-goers to “Keep It Moving.”
The City will also be deploying 60 Social Distancing Ambassadors to walk around all major parks reminding people to social distance. These ambassadors will be taking hourly data on park usage and have the authority to close parks if they deem them unsafe due to overcrowding.
Governor Inslee and Mayor Durkan agree: Going for a walk and getting fresh air is a great way to reduce stress while staying active. Let’s make sure everyone gets to enjoy this by not crowding! pic.twitter.com/75Siztw8M7
— Seattle Parks (@SeattleParks) April 17, 2020
Loop trails at Green Lake and Seward Park will be open only to pedestrians, while Alki Beach and Golden Gardens will continue to ban all beach activities including fire pits.
In addition, the city is closing 2.5 miles of residential streets in the Central District and West Seattle starting Saturday, in order to allow bikers and pedestrians to have more space to move around.
In the coming weeks, the city is planning to close a total of 15 miles of streets.
“We know that this virus isn’t leaving our community for a long time, but I am hopeful that Seattle can adapt,” said Durkan.