Some Activities Not Allowed Due to Pandemic, Including Swimming
Thursday, September 3, 2020 (Oakland) – Labor Day Weekend is typically one of the busiest times of the year for the Park District. This year, because of anticipated excessive heat and poor air quality due to smoke from wildfires, we encourage the public to visit parks early and not plan for an extended stay. As with most years, all EBRPD shoreline parks will be open and are expected to be crowded so the public should plan accordingly. Most parking lots are also expected to reach capacity early in the day. Due to COVID-19, EBRPD swim areas are closed as are picnic areas and use of personal watercraft for fishing.
The Park District is also staffing up for the holiday weekend, as it typically does, to help ensure parks and people are safe. This includes park rangers, firefighters, and police officers.
Some parks are currently closed due to impacts from the recent wildfires and COVID-19. However, no additional park closures are planned for Labor Day Weekend. Park closure information available at www.ebparks.org/covid-19.
Activities in Regional Parks will look very different this Labor Day Weekend due to the pandemic. Some traditional activities prohibited this year include:
- Picnicking at picnic tables, barbequing or gatherings are not allowed (Individual and group picnic areas are closed)
- Swimming, boating, and camping are not allowed (Swimming, water facilities, and campgrounds are closed)
- Dogs off-leash prohibited (Dogs must be kept on-leash at all times, except at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline)
Visitors must also follow all social distancing guidelines from local health agencies. In particular, visitors should make sure they bring a mask or face covering to parks and wear it when within six feet of others.
Parks are essential, now more than ever, as the public looks for respite from COVID-19. However, the increased number of visitors in parks does create additional challenges. Littering and trash in parks have become a problem, with park staff simply unable to keep up with removal, especially on weekends.
We ask the public to help by taking care of their parks. Visitors are responsible for their own garbage and should dispose of it by depositing it in a nearby garbage can or taking it home if cans are full. Placing trash on the ground is littering and not helpful as is slows down the trash removal process, leading to less trash being picked up.
Excessive Heat Warning:
High heat and fire dangers are also expected for the holiday weekend. Visitors are reminded to plan ahead, visit during cooler parts of the day, bring plenty of water, and avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day – the morning between 7 and 10 a.m., and in the evening.
High Fire Dangers:
Extreme fire dangers are expected for the holiday weekend. Visitors are reminded to follow all fire safety rules, including no smoking of any kind and not driving or parking on dry grass. The heat from a vehicle’s undercarriage exhaust system can ignite wildfires. More info available at www.ebparks.org/fire-warning.