Lane County Parks is urging visitors to do better at physical distancing when they are in County parks. There has been a marked increase in park visitors as the weather has improved, and several visitors have been observed not maintaining appropriate distance from others.
“We know how much people love our parks and love to be outside here,” said Lane County Park Manager Brett Henry. “But it is just as important to observe physical distancing here as it is in the grocery stores.”
A few things to keep in mind if you plan to head to a park:
• Keep your distance. Pace yourself so that you can maintain at least 6 feet (ideally more) of physical distance between yourself and other hikers. Be polite and take turns at narrow or busy spots.
• Parks are not a place to gather right now. Getting outside to exercise and experience the outdoors is important to our physical and mental health, but it is not okay to meet friends or gather in groups to hike together right now. Stick to members of your own household and keep your distance from everyone else.
• Vary your times. Consider visiting or walking/hiking at non-peak times to reduce your likelihood of encountering crowds.
• Consider keeping your dogs on leashes at all times. Some parks, Howard Buford Recreation Area (Mt. Pisgah) included, have off-leash trails or areas for dogs. Please consider keeping your pet leashed right now to better maintain physical distance. (Fido may be friendly, but if you have to separate him from another hiker’s dog or from other hikers that means you’re not keeping appropriate physical distance.)
• Park safely. Do not park your vehicle alongside roads to access County parks – it creates a safety hazard for you, other drivers and road users.