Auburn reopens outdoor parks and recreation facilities in phase 2

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Do you want to walk, run or cycle? Shoot a basket, kick a ball, play tennis, play pickleball or skate?

Well, you can do all of these things again in Auburn Parks. Just keep your small group of five or less away from the house.

On June 19, the state Department of Health approved King County’s request to move to Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan, which includes new guidelines for recreation and fitness.

“We’re moving slowly,” said Julie Krueger, director of arts and events for Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation.

To keep your favorite outdoor spots open, however, you need to keep your COVID-19 guard up – and practice physical distance by staying at least 6 feet from others.

As part of Phase 2, informal recreation of groups of five or fewer outside the household can again camp at Farm Wilderness Campground, and the town is accepting reservations at (253) 931-3043.

But not in the day camp area, Auburn Community and Event Center, Rec Teen Center, Auburn Avenue Theater, and White River Valley Museum. In a nutshell, all city-run indoor facilities are closed, although babysitting camp options are available from July 6.

The Les Gove Park Climbing Wall, Community Gardens, and Game Farm Wilderness Park are also open, again for the aforementioned informal recreation of groups of five or fewer outside the home.

Auburn Golf Course and Roegner Park’s off-leash dog area are open, but the city does not take picnic shelter reservations.

The Mary Olson Farm will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, except July 4, although the farm and weaving shed are closed for the season.

The play areas are open, but the Les Gove Park spray play area and restrooms are closed.

“Toilets are areas where physical distancing can be difficult,” Krueger said. “And keeping them disinfected to prevent the spread of the virus requires a higher level of service than we are able to provide due to limited protective supplies and limited seasonal staff. A handful of our community parks have portable toilets that are serviced by a third party supplier twice a week.

“We will continue to share the ‘responsibly recreate’ message to park and trail visitors through on-site signs, social media sites, eblasts and the city’s website. We will continue to make informed operational decisions based on COVID-19 data and advice from our public health experts. If other COVID-19 issues develop, we may close parks and trails on limited notice to protect public health, ”Krueger said.



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