Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

April 2020


NRPA Offers Guidance on Playgrounds During COVID-19 Pandemic

With so many cities and states implementing shelter-in-place orders to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19, questions have emerged regarding the safety of parks and public spaces, including playgrounds and play structures. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recently provided some guidance.

While the NRPA recognizes the important value playgrounds and play structures provide to communities across the country, especially children, playgrounds and play structures should be temporarily closed, the organization advises. This is due to the current situation and guidance from public health officials on physical distancing, limiting in-person social interactions, avoiding spaces where people congregate in close quarters and the concerns around the transmission of the virus being spread through surfaces.

Many communities have already taken such steps, including by: posting signage, wrapping equipment in hazard tape, making public service announcements, and locking permanent fencing gates or installing temporary fencing.

NRPA supports these decisions, but also recognizes that such decisions must be made at the local level, taking a number of factors into account and consulting with public health officials based on the local risk assessment.

While NRPA advises closing play areas, the association supports keeping parks, trails and green spaces open as long as they provide adequate room for physical distancing. Through this pandemic, local parks, trails and open spaces have become even more of a haven and place of respite from the stresses of daily life and the uncertainty we face. Because of the tremendous physical and mental health benefits parks, trails and green spaces provide, NRPA urges that these spaces remain open wherever possible.

For more guidance and other information about parks and recreation, visit www.nrpa.org.


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