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Seattle Parks and Recreation discourages crowding at parks this warm, Mother’s Day weekend

Seattle Parks and Recreation continues efforts to reduce crowding in parks, in order to keep our parks and green spaces open and available through the duration of the City and State’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.  

Starting Friday, May 8, major parks will close at 8pm (instead of 11:30pm) to further deter the BBQs, bonfires, parties, and gatherings that are taking place in parks.

The parks now closing at 8pm are: 
Alki Beach, Cal Anderson, Carkeek, Discovery, Gas Works, Golden Gardens, Green Lake, Kubota Garden, Lincoln, Magnuson, Seward, Volunteer, Washington Park Arboretum, West Seattle Stadium, Myrtle Edwards, Judkins, and Woodland parks. 

Social Distancing Ambassadors will be out reminding people of this change, and SPD will be assisting in closing these parks at 8pm.  

In addition to this closure, Seattle Park and Recreation would like to reiterate the following guidelines: 

  • Keep It Moving in parks. Parks are open for running, walking, and biking. Do not come to the park to have a picnic or gathering. If we all keep it moving, more of us can use the park without it getting crowded.  
  • Stay Home and Stay Local. If you have to get in the car, it’s probably too far. Use your back yard if you have one, walk in your neighborhood, use a neighborhood Safe Street, or visit your local parks. We have over 485 parks in the city, and over 94% of us live within a 10 min walk to a park.  
  • If you get to a park and it’s busy, leave and come back another time.  
  • Stay home if you are sick, wash your hands frequently, and if you visit a park, make sure that you can give yourself and others six feet of space.  
  • Motorized boat ramps, tennis courts, basketball courts, play areas, athletic fields (except for walking through), picnic tables/shelters, and other high touch amenities are closed.  
  • Parking lots remain closed at many popular parks. The goal is to cut down on the crowding that we see at these parks. Lots are closed at: Along Lake Washington Blvd (Adams St, Duck Bay, Ferdinand St, Lower Colman, Mt. Baker Bathhouse, Stan Sayres, Pritchard Beach, 49th St), Seward, Genesee, Carkeek, Discovery, Golden Gardens, Green Lake, Kubota Gardens, Lincoln, Magnuson, Washington Park Arboretum, Matthews Beach, Riverview, Volunteer, West Seattle Stadium, and Woodland parks, plus Atlantic St Boat Ramp (except when UW will be offering their drive-up COVID testing). ADA parking is available at Magnuson, Seward, Lincoln, and Green Lake.  
  • Please visit parks during less popular times. Mornings are typically the least busy times at parks.  

Social Distancing Ambassadors will be out to encourage everyone to Keep It Moving, give others six feet of space, and refrain from congregating activities (pick up games, BBQs, or any gatherings).  

Mother’s Day is typically one of the busiest days of the year in our City parks. This year, social distancing is critical, and we need to follow the guidelines given to prevent crowding at parks during this holiday. To provide an alternative way to enjoy one popular park from the comfort of your home, the City of Seattle, UW, and the Arboretum Foundation have created some fun virtual events to provide the “Mother’s Day Arboretum experience”

“Seattle has been an example of how we can keep public spaces open, without creating crowds. But we cannot relax these efforts just yet. All of us can do something to help reduce crowding: exercise at home, visit parks during less busy hours, keep it moving, visit parks closer to home. I am confident that Seattle can do this, and that we won’t see the crowding in our parks that would lead to closures,” said Jesús Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent.  

Finally, as a reminder, lifeguards are not on duty at our beaches and all beaches are closed for swimming. Swimming during the springtime can be especially dangerous because the water temperature is still very cold and can make swimming difficult for even the strongest swimmers.