Safe fun in the sun for park visitors

It feels like summer in the middle of spring! We’re all heading outside to enjoy it, and deservedly so. Because we know that time spent outdoors is so important to physical and mental health, we’re excited to finally be able to offer a tentative summer schedule of outdoor activities.

But as we’re having long-needed fun, please remember that each of us still has a critical role to play in defeating the pandemic. Please continue to wear your mask in public, keep your distance and limit social gatherings to the outdoors. Public health officials are very concerned about a fourth wave due to the presence of variants in our community, which could push us back into Phase Two. Starting today, you’ll see lots of new signs in parks about masking up and staying socially distant from those not in your pod. Seattle Parks and Recreation staff will be in the major parks this weekend too, reminding people of the same, and handing out masks for those who need one.

You’ll also see new signs in the parks with other safety reminders: that the Green Lake inner path is one way, for pedestrians only; and that no bonfires are permitted at beaches until the designated fire pits open up at Golden Gardens and Alki Beach over Memorial Day weekend.

If the goal of going to public green spaces is to relax, and not spend your time circling for parking spots or nestling too close to other sun revelers, try some alternatives to the popular parks. You can find suggestions here and here. Or type in any address on this page and see which parks are in a particular neighborhood.

Lastly, getting tested is still important. Stay home if you feel sick, and sign up for a vaccine when it’s your turn, either through your health provider or a community resource like this one. But most of all, enjoy yourselves safely outdoors; it’s our best natural resource!