Recently, it has become extraordinarily clear how important the outdoors is for our wellbeing — last weekend was likely one of the busiest ever experienced for our local parks and preserves. It’s gratifying to know how universally we all value nature’s ability to soothe and rejuvenate us, but now more than ever, we must do so responsibly.
If we don’t do our part individually, we risk losing access to the very parks and preserves that will keep us going during these difficult times. In fact, if we don’t heed the proper guidelines, our local managing agencies will be forced to close the parks and preserves for the remainder of the shelter in place order.
Like you, we don’t want that to happen. We need these spaces now more than ever to get out, stretch our legs, let the kids run and clear our heads. So today, I am asking you as a part of the broader POST community to please follow these guidelines if you choose to venture out to our open spaces. If we all work together, we can continue to find solace and resilience in the outdoors in the days ahead.
• Stay at home if you or others in your household are sick.
• Don’t visit parks that are closed, and take note of those with closed parking lots. If a parking lot is full, crowded or closed, do not go to the preserve.
• Check the location’s website prior to visiting.
• Restrooms and other public facilities are closed; plan ahead before leaving home.
• Don’t stay too long — give others the opportunity to have a safe experience as parking will be limited.
• As always, keep dogs leashed, clean up after them and leave no trace. Pack out what you pack in as garbage collection is limited.
• Go alone or with members of your household only. Do not go in large groups. Stay six feet away from people you don’t live with.
• Share the trail and yield to others to maintain a safe distance.
• Choose less frequented parks and trails. Where possible, look for nature to enjoy near your home. Your own neighborhood is ideal and many are highly walkable.
• Don’t hold social gatherings anywhere, including at parks or preserves. The time to hang with friends will come, but for now, try having an online meet up instead.
• Share these important guidelines with others on social media using the following tags: #6feetapart, #keepparksopen and #keepparkssafe
I hope you find this helpful (and sharable), and that it inspires you to do your part during the shelter in place orders. Our POST community is a strong group of people and we know that this will eventually pass. Until then, stay well friends. Together, we are united in our efforts to build resilience in our region — resilient landscapes, resilient wildlife, resilient ecosystems and resilient communities.
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 80,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more