People need parks – now more than ever – as they are viewed as essential for public health and wellness, especially stress relief. Current state and local “Stay-at-Home” orders allow for “outdoor recreation activities” as an “essential activity” as long as social distancing requirements are followed. Additionally, local health agencies have asked the Park District to keep parks open as much as possible.
To limit unsafe overcrowding and maintain social distancing, the Park District has temporarily closed some parking lots and staging areas through Sunday, May 31, 2020, with some full park closures. However, most trails remain accessible on a walk-in, bike-in basis.
We are doing everything we can under the circumstances to keep parks open and safe while also limiting overcrowding and educating visitors to keep the 6-foot distance, to wear face masks, and to keep dogs on leash at all times. However, we need YOUR help! Please follow all COVID-19 safety rules and guidelines while at parks. Please BRING YOUR TRASH HOME! Keep parks safe for park employees and park visitors.
Ardenwood Historic Farm is CLOSED (NO Walk-In Access)
Bay Point Regional Shoreline is CLOSED (Due to construction. NO Walk-In Access)
Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area is CLOSED (NO Walk-In Access)
Little Hills Picnic Ranch is CLOSED (NO Walk-In Access)
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline is CLOSED (NO Walk-In Access)
Tilden - Regional Parks Botanic Garden is CLOSED (NO Walk-In Access)
HELP US KEEP THE REGIONAL PARKS SAFE BY COOPERATING with the statewide Stay-At-Home order and park rules. Please do the following to protect yourselves, other park visitors, and park staff during COVID-19 pandemic:
BEFORE HEADING OUT TO THE PARKS
WHILE AT THE PARKS
Q1: With COVID-19 being a public health emergency, why are some parks still open?
A: One of the biggest challenges during this unprecedented pandemic is the requirement of isolating ourselves at home. The Park District confers daily with Alameda and Contra Costa County Health Departments, and they have specifically asked us to keep Regional Parks and trails open as long as park users can responsibly practice social distancing and not gather, congregate, picnic, play organized sports, etc. Parks are a respite for health and healing, and we are keeping many parks open despite major staffing limitations. During the COVID-19 health emergency, all water fountains, picnic areas, and some restrooms and parking lots are temporarily closed.
Q2: People need parks for health and wellness, so why are some parks temporarily closed?
A: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Stay-at-Home order, Regional Parks have been busy, most notably the weekend of March 21-22, 2020. To limit overcrowding and help maintain social distancing, the Park District temporarily closed some parks and park areas on Wednesday, March 25. However, most of the Park District’s 125,000 acres of parkland and 1,250 miles of trails remain open and accessible for outdoor activities.
Q3: How can the public help keep parks open?
A: The Regional Parks have been very busy during the COVID-19 pandemic and Stay-at-Home order as people are looking to get outdoors for exercise and stress relief. We are proud that the Regional Parks are well-loved and seen as essential to health and wellness. However, we need YOUR HELP to keep parks open, safe, and clean!!
WAYS YOU CAN HELP include:
Q4: How is disabled access affected by the temporary COVID-19 park closures?
A: The safety of the public and park staff is the Park District’s top priority. On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, some parks and park areas were temporarily closed to limit overcrowding and help maintain social distancing. The temporary closures were implemented to minimize the impact of overcrowding to all park users, including persons with disabilities. We understand that these temporary closures may cause some inconveniences and we thank the public for their understanding and cooperation during this time.
Q5. Why do I need to wear a face mask in parks and on trails?
A: The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings /masks in public settings where social distancing of 6 feet is difficult to maintain. The face mask can protect the wearer from becoming infected. It can also prevent transmission by the wearer who may have the virus but don’t know they have it.
The face masks don’t need to be medical grade. According to the CDC, cloth face coverings will work. They should cover your nose and mouth; fit snugly but comfortably; be secured with ties or ear loops. They should include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing, and can be laundered, and machine dried without damage or shrinkage. A bandanna folded into several layers is adequate.
Wearing a face mask does not replace social-distancing measures. Please continue to visit only parks near your home. Keep a distance of six feet from other park users; No gatherings/meetup groups. No picnicking. Walk, bike or fish solo, or with immediate household members.
Q6: Why is the Park District requiring dogs be on-leash?
A: The Park District is proud to be one of the most dog-friendly organizations in the nation. We need dog owners’ help to keep parks open and safe. For the safety of all park visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Park District is requesting that dogs be on-leash at ALL times in ALL parks to help prevent crowding and interaction between unrelated park visitors. Unleashed dogs tend to group together, which leads to less social distancing between their owners.Q7: Why are some restrooms and water fountains closed?
A: Most restrooms serving trail use have been reopened. However, restrooms serving picnicking and group activities remain closed. Water fountains remain closed for the safety of the public and staff.
Q8: How do I maintain social distance on narrow trails?
A: All trail users, please cooperate by stepping aside, with 6 feet of space, to let each other pass.
Wear a face mask on trails to protect yourself and others from the virus. See Q5.
On narrow or crowded trails, walk single file and consider backtracking to a wider area to allow other trail users to pass safely. Runners and cyclists who "more forcefully expel airborne particles" please take extra steps to avoid exposing others. Wear a face mask and slow down to maintain 6-foot social distancing.
Q9: How do I maintain social distance at staging areas and parking lots?
A: At busy parking lots and staging areas, visitors may need to take turns getting out of cars to maintain the 6-foot distancing. This includes waiting and stepping aside when entering trails and parkland areas at busy or crowded entry points. Wear face masks to protect yourselves and others.
Q10: Why is Point Isabel temporarily closed?
A: The joint “Stay-at-Home” health order covering six Bay Area counties was updated on March 31, with additional restrictions including the closure of dog parks. To comply with the order, the Park District has temporarily closed Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond. Point Isabel functions as a dog park and is considered to be one of the largest dog parks in the nation. While Point Isabel offers a variety of recreational activities, it is best known for allowing dogs to be off-leash and for concessions catering to dogs. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with the no-access order during this public health emergency.