LIMA — Springlike weather has brought us a bit of a respite for the cold, rainy weather we’ve experienced recently.
With the weather improving, more people will want to get out and enjoy local parks.
In the age of the new coronavirus, practicing social distancing is extremely important.
“Well, what we’re trying to do is educate the community as best we can,” said Ric Stolly, Lima parks director. “From our Ranger standpoint, we’ve got signage up at all of our shelter houses, basketball courts and the skateboard park. We’ve taped off all of our playground areas and basically what our signage is saying to people is, first of all, we appreciate you coming to the park, but please pay attention to the protocols that are being set forth with trying to maintain at least six feet, this distance between each other, and not together in groups greater than 10.”
The CDC recommends that people get exercise and limit their exposure to other people and going to a city park is just one way of getting out, relatively safely.
“Home is the safest place but we also understand that people find themselves needing to get out of their house and the parks seem to be a pretty reasonable spot for them to go to, especially with all the walking paths that we have, and all of the green space that’s available throughout our city park system,” Stolly said.
If you want to shoot some hoops, that’s OK too.
“We’ve left our basketball hoops up with signage. We’re asking people not to get involved in full-court situations with full-blown five on five games because there’s no way to maintain that six-foot-plus (spacing),” Stolly said.
Don’t look for the park rangers to come down hard on people who are not using social distancing, rather they’re there to make sure people are using the parks safely.
“We’re not arresting people as much as we’re trying to educate them and work with them to make the community just that much safer,” Stolly said.
Organized spring sports are already affected by the new coronavirus.
“We simply bumped things back. With our youth sports, we’re looking at the end of May. We’re still giving people time if May 1 ends up being the date. If May 1 ends up not being the date, then we either move them back or we begin to start canceling certain things. We are we’re prepared and ready to go. It’s just a matter of who gives us a green light,” Stolly said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.