COVID-19/Coronavirus Update: Parks, Trails, Sport Courts, Fields and Playgrounds
March 27, 2020
While trails remain open to the public, PenMet Parks is expanding its list of facility closures as part of the community effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
- Effective immediately, beach access areas, playgrounds, sport courts, and picnic areas are closed to the public.
- The following parks have been closed: Narrows Park, Sunrise Beach, Tacoma DeMolay Sandspit (Bella Bella Beach), Rosedale Park and Courts, Hale Pass Park and Fox Island Fishing Pier.
- The trails at Sehmel Homestead Park remain open, including access to the upper parking lot. Please respect our neighbors by using the main entrance of the park. (Note: On April 3rd, 2020 upper amphitheater parking access will be closed due to construction. Parking for trails will be available in front of the Sehmel Homestead Park Pavilion.)
- The Cushman Trail remains open.
- Dog Parks will remain open.
- Park restrooms are also closed at this time, we remind you to “Go before you go”.
- PenMet Parks will continue to monitor park usage and activity at all locations to ensure visitors are practicing safe social distancing.
Park trails remain open at Sehmel Homestead Park, McCormick Forrest Park, Rotary Tails and Harbor Family Park for visitors to walk, cycle and enjoy nature. PenMet Parks is implementing these additional actions to support Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent orders to discourage groups from gathering. Most of these closed amenities are out in the open and cannot be fully secured or locked. PenMet 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.”
In addition, PenMet Parks Administrative Offices are closed to the public. Staff will assist customers via phone and electronic communications.
All programs are canceled, including indoor, outdoor, and volunteer work parties.
All facility rentals — including community center rooms and Sehmel Homestead Park Pavilion — are canceled. We will work with renters to reschedule or give full refunds.
These decisions are effective through April 8, 2020. In the meantime, we will continue evaluating the situation with public health authorities and other partners.
Parks will be maintained on a limited basis and trails open during their regular operating hours.
Our staff members are handling a high rate of phone calls, and we ask for your patience as we work through these issues. We will keep updating our website as developments warrant.
We know that PenMet Parks facilities provide important benefits and services to the community, and these closures and cancellations will have an impact on our valued community. We remain in contact with partner agencies and community service providers to provide updated and accurate information.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department continues to update its website with the latest and most accurate information, including what to do if you feel sick or have come into contact with someone with the COVID-19/coronavirus. https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/human-coronavirusWe encourage you to keep checking this page for updates.
GUIDELINES FOR VISITING PARKS DURING COVID-19
We believe that outdoor activities are essential for mental and physical well-being but during the COVID-19 outbreak please remember that they are great places to be for solitary recreation, not group activities. If it’s crowded, choose another area. Remember to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. Read more about social distancing at www.tpchd.org/coronavirus.
Taking personal responsibility for yourself and your family can go a long way toward helping you stay healthy:
- Stay 6 feet away from other people
- Wash your hands
- Don’t touch your face if you can help it
- Avoid sick people
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay informed
- Do not use parks if you are exhibiting symptoms
- Bring your own hand sanitizer, and use it
- Avoid crowds and maintain social distancing
- Wave hello and good-bye