St. George begins reopening some parks after pandemic-related closures

Snake Hollow St. George Bike Park, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The city of St. George recently closed a number of parks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After almost three weeks of closures, the city has announced it will be reopening some of the parks, including the Snake Hollow Bike Park, the Skategeorge Park and Pioneer Park.

View of the Dixie Sugarloaf, St. George, Utah, March 26, 2020 | File photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Pioneer Park, the site of the Dixie Sugarloaf, will reopen Monday, while the skate and bike parks will reopen Saturday. The Thunder Junction All Abilities Park will remain closed for the time being.

“We’re going to do significant signage at Pioneer Park,” St. George Communications Director David Cordero said. “That’s the one that we had concerns with people bunching up at different choke points along the way. The other ones, Snake Hollow and the skate park, we’ll have signage there as well. I think it’s a little easier at those ones to keep that 6-feet of distance.”

In regard to the decision-making process behind reopening the parks, Cordero said the city is gradually working toward a new normal.

“We pay attention to the data, and we feel that now is a good time to start reopening things incrementally, and as we continue to hear from our health experts, have them give us their guidance,” Cordero said. “That’s how we’ll conduct things going forward.”

Jordan Hicks of Pine View golfing at the Southgate Golf Club, St. George, Utah, March 28, 2019 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Cordero said the closures allowed the city to buy time for the medical community to get prepared to handle a certain amount of patients and not be overwhelmed.

All four of the public golf courses in the city were also reopened Wednesday, but there are still precautions being taken around the city’s parks. Increased signage and added sterilization measures are being put in place, as well as other precautions to make sure that people are keeping social distance.

Cordero said the city is confident in reopening the facilities, but he urged people to still be aware of the recommended 6 feet of social distance. Most activities taking place at the parks that are open, including the golf course, can be enjoyed while keeping a distance from others.

“I think it’s become a part of all of us over the last month to six weeks as we’ve kind of had that personal radar to know if we’re giving enough distance between another person or group,” Cordero said. “We’ve gotten really good at that, and we don’t want to forget that going forward. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re seeing a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s a great thing.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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