tips for enjoying city trails and parks amid COVID-19 concerns
that people get out and get fresh air and exercise, but they need to maintain
their social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus,” City of Oak
Ridge Recreation and Parks Director Jon Hetrick said.
Oak Ridge has
48 greenbelt districts comprising approximately 1,566 acres of forested
greenbelts that serve as buffers between neighborhoods and offer miles of shaded
walking trails for residents. In addition to that, the City also has over 1,300
acres of public parks including the roughly 200 acres of the Centennial Golf
Course. Trails are found in both parks and greenbelt districts.
So, before you
hit the trails this weekend, you’re asked to remember the following practices:
outdoors and maintain six feet or more from friends and strangers,” Oak Ridge
Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said. “Other than that, there aren’t really any other
special instructions as long as people are keeping their distance and following
and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to
enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide.
The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged mental health as a top concern
associated with the COVID-19 outbreak because social distancing may take a toll
on our mental health, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing
global public health emergencies.
“We have many, many miles of trails. Go for a
walk, enjoy the time outdoors, and maintain a safe space,” Hetrick said.
also follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social
gatherings including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports and other group
hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
basketball courts are open, you shouldn’t play as a group because then you have
multiple people touching the ball at once and it’s pretty tough to play the
game while keeping space from others,” Hetrick said.
The city has
posted signage at parks and playgrounds to encourage people to use caution
during this time.
want to consider giving their child gloves if they plan to play on a playground
and are going to be touching things. When the child is finished playing, the
gloves come off and go straight in a bag to bring home to wash.
detectable on copper for four hours, cardboard for 24 hours, stainless steel
for two to three days, and plastic for up to three days, according to the
National Institute of Health.
Recreation and Parks crews are working hard to keep parks safe and accessible.
We hope to keep them open and benefiting our communities for as long as
possible during these difficult times,” Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson
Restrooms are closed
at the following facilities: The Baseball Complex, Big Turtle Park, Carl
Yearwood Park and Melton Lake Park. However, portable restrooms are still open
in some park areas.
information on City of Oak Ridge greenways and greenbelts, click here. To find a city park nearby, click