Arlington, VA

Arlington County’s parks are closed, a safety precaution intended to prevent overcrowding and the spread of the coronavirus.

While trails are open, the closure of parks has reduced recreation options for those seeking to get outside as the weather gets warmer. That, along with the county deciding against closing vehicle lanes for extra space, may be factors contributing to more crowded sidewalks and trails.

“While we recognize how important our parks are to our community, we also recognize the trust the community has in us to do the right thing,” Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish said. “Arlington parks remain closed for play; crossing through parks to get to a trail or non-park destination is allowed. Our trails and community gardens are open as long as people practice social distancing.”

Kalish said that the county is working with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to arrange a safe reopening of amenities on a regional level.

“It is essential that we continue to coordinate across borders to combat this virus and plan for our economic recovery,” Kalish said.

In Maryland, state parks and beaches are reopening today. Parks have reopened recently for passive recreation — walking, sitting, etc. — in parts of New Jersey and Florida.

In Arlington, the park closures are being lightly enforced, with police issuing warnings and working to remind residents about the closures instead of making arrests.

Might it be time, however, for Arlington to consider loosening the park closures? Specifically, do you think it would be a good idea to open parks for passive recreation?

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