Park Use Update
Joint Jefferson County, City of Port Townsend COVID-19 Parks Operations Plan
March 26, 2020
On March 23rd Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25 Stay at Home - Stay Healthy, which stated in part:
To implement this mandate, I hereby order that all people in Washington State are immediately prohibited from leaving their home or place of residence except to conduct or participate in (1) essential activities, and/or (2) employment in providing essential business services:
- Essential activities permitted under this Proclamation are limited to the following: ((1 through 3 not included for brevity)) 4) Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running or biking, but only if appropriate social distancing practices are used.
Parks, trails and open space are critical to our mental and physical health, especially during this uncertain and difficult time. Both City of Port Townsend, and Jefferson County parks, conservation areas, and trails where social distancing is possible are still accessible at this time. Facilities where it is impossible to keep a minimum of 6’ of social distance are temporarily closed, though, the closure of facilities differs between City and County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged mental health as a top concern associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognize that social distancing may take a toll on our mental health, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing global public health emergencies. We also know that parks provide a connection to the outdoors and green space as well as opportunities for physical activity which studies demonstrate reduces stress and improves mental health.
We believe that many parks, trails and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. In all instances, please observe any specific closures and signage providing guidelines regarding the use of these spaces and recognize that these vary from park to park. The situation is changing fast. It is important to check regularly to see if changes have occurred. Watch for specific information on signs at parks, and follow the directions of each agency.
Let’s all do our part to use our parks in a way that respects each other and public health guidance so that they can remain open during this event.
Current County Park Status
- Day-use parks
- All trails
- Open space areas
- Portable toilets
- Basketball and tennis courts
- Park restrooms
- PortTownsend Rec Center
- Picnic shelters
Safe Park Use in All Parks
The following public health rules were adopted by the National Parks and Recreation Association, apply to all park users. Click here for more information.
- Do not use parks if you have any symptoms or are sick
- Observe CDC minimum social distance of 6’ from another person at all times
- Share the trail, alert other users as you pass and make space for each other
- Be prepared for limited public restroom and water fountain access
- Follow CDC guidelines for personal hygiene – carry hand sanitizer and do not touch your face
For more information about Jefferson County Parks, please see www.countyrec.com or call 360-385-9129.
For more information about City of Port Townsend Parks, please see www.cityofpt.us/parksrec or call 360-344-3064.