Tucson Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed all city park playgrounds and other equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
The changes went into effect at 10 p.m. last night, March 31, and in addition to playgrounds the closures also include ramadas, gazebos, outdoor fitness equipment, some sports courts (basketball, volleyball, bocce), horseshoe pits and splash pads, according to a news release.
These areas will remain closed at least through April 30.
“We are taking steps to ensure that Tucsonans are able to recreate safely at our parks,” said Mayor Regina Romero in the news release. “These new actions are consistent with CDC guidelines that encourage social distancing outdoors. With the Easter and Passover holidays quickly approaching, it is critical that Tucsonans remember to practice social distancing, which will require us to find new ways to celebrate the holidays in order to avoid large gatherings and consider staying home.”
Parks staff will be spending the day taping off areas and equipment and putting up signs communicating the closures, says Sierra Boyer, a spokeswoman for Tucson Parks and Recreation.
Any existing reservations and permits for park facilities for special events, fields, gazebos and ramadas will be canceled and people can choose to receive a credit to use in the future or a refund.
On March 16 the city announced the closure of its pools, recreation and senior facilities.
Golf courses, disc golf courses, tennis courts, dog parks, skate parks and rinks, urban fishing areas, open space, trails, walking paths, and some park restroom facilities will continue to remain open for people to use while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Tucson Golf will be requiring golfers using carts to use one cart per player and will be enforcing a six-foot distance between people in its pro shops.
If anyone encounters people using closed facilities or large gatherings of groups in city parks they can call the City Service Impacts hotline at 520-791-2540 to report the activity. The hotline will notify the community service officers who patrol parks, Boyer says.