Metro Parks expands closures to playgrounds and sport courts

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Closures also apply to picnic shelters, skate parks and restrooms

While parks and natural areas remain open to the public, Metro Parks Tacoma is expanding its list of facility closures as part of the state and community effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

·     Effective immediately, 51 playgrounds, 48 sport courts, 27 picnic shelters and 8 skate parks are considered closed to the public. Signage will be posted this week.

·     Beginning Wednesday, March 25, parking lot gates will be locked at parks that have them, including Chinese Reconciliation Park, Brown’s Point, Stewart Heights, and Tacoma Nature Center, among others.

·     This also means the gates to Point Defiance Park will be locked, including the Pearl and Mildred street entrances. This means Five Mile Drive is closed to motor vehicles.

·     A closure of the park district’s 31 public restrooms took effect Tuesday.

Parks remain open for visitors to walk, cycle and enjoy nature. However, Metro Parks is taking these additional actions to support Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent orders to discourage groups from gathering, as well as to address the workload the park district can accommodate with diminished staffing levels. As the Governor said in his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, people are encouraged to take care of themselves by visiting local parks. 

Most of these closed amenities are out in the open and cannot be fully secured or locked. Metro Parks is asking the public to honor this closure notice as part of the community’s collective response and individual responsibility to keep everyone safe. 

Per the governor’s orders, park visitors are asked to use open spaces and trails responsibly: practice social distancing (6 feet from anyone), bring hand sanitizer, and take all belongings and trash home. In other words, “pack it in, pack it out.”

A list of other Metro Parks facilities that were closed under previous orders is available at metroparkstacoma.org/updates or  bit.ly/MPT_update_032420.

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