The East Bay Regional Park District has launched a new series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in conjunction with the Alameda County Public Health Department and Contra Costa County Department of Health. The new PSAs stress the importance of parks to public health and wellness and remind visitors to practice social distancing, wear a face-covering within six feet of others, and to visit parks close to their home.
“Parks play an important role in people’s lives,” said East Bay Regional Park District Board President Ellen Corbett. “Fresh air, open space and a little exercise is important to maintain peace of mind during the ongoing Shelter in Place.”
State and local “Stay-at-Home” orders allow for “outdoor recreation activities” as an “essential activity” as long as social distancing is followed.
"Visiting parks, exercising, and enjoying nature is good for the health of body and mind,” said Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano. “When hiking or enjoying the outdoors, please follow all social distancing requirements to protect yourself and others.”
The PSAs are also timely given the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, which is typically one of the busiest times of the year for the East Bay Regional Park District. A large number of visitors are expected this year, with crowding possible. Memorial Day honors the soldier and military personnel who have died in the line of service.
“East Bay Regional Parks have been busy during COVID-19,” said Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “This year, for Memorial Day weekend, the public should visit regional parks close to home and visit them to exercise, not socialize.”
“Please help keep the public and our staff safe by being thoughtful park visitors and following all park rules. Working together, we will get through this,” added Doyle.
Due to COVID-19, all water access is closed this Memorial Day weekend. Available activities include walking, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and fishing from shore or by pier.
COVID-19 reminders for this Memorial Day weekend include:
Visitors should also be aware that if a parking lot is full, they should consider going to another park or walking around their neighborhood. Parking restrictions and rules will be enforced.
Check www.ebparks.org for up-to-date information about parks and closures. While most of the Park District’s 125,000 acres of open space and 1,300 miles of trails remain open and accessible, some parking areas have been closed to limit overcrowding and help maintain social distancing.
Additional Media Contacts:
Alameda County Health Department
Public Information Manager
Contra Costa County Health Services
Assistant to the Director, Communications
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor