Broward County will open parks as South Florida restrictions ease

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Most county parks will, reopen but with standard social distancing restrictions still in effect.

Broward County is releasing a list of parks slated to reopen Wednesday as South Florida will begin pulling back on closures installed to combat the novel coronavirus.

The tri-county area — Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties — will all begin to slowly reopen Wednesday. Those restrictions being dropped largely apply to parks, marinas, golf courses and other areas where social distancing remains relatively easy.

Most county parks will reopen but with standard social distancing restrictions still in effect including having access to a face covering. Visitors will not be required to wear that face covering if they are at least six feet apart. If that is not possible, the covering must be worn.

Restrooms and water fountains will have limited access and police and park staffers have authority to shut down portions of a park if visitors are not following those guidelines.

Those with COVID-19 symptoms are asked not to visit these facilities.

The full list of parks being reopened is available on the Broward County website. The list includes Brian Piccolo Park, Topeekeegee Yugnee Park, and dozens of others.

Some parks will remain closed including C.B. Smith Park, Quiet Waters Park and Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium because they are being utilized for COVID-19 testing or food distribution events during the crisis.

Another 14 parks will remain closed due to space concerns including the target range at Markham Park — though the bulk of the park will reopen — as well as Hollywood North Beach Park, Roosevelt Gardens Park and other locations.

The move comes as Miami-Dade County announced last week its plan to reopen parks, marinas and golf courses.

Those two counties — along with Palm Beach — will begin reopening Wednesday. However, all are keeping beaches closed.

Ramira Inguanzo, the President of Miami-Dade City and County Managers Association, reasoned that should one county reopen its beaches, residents of nearby counties could flood those areas and lead to large crowds gathering in violation of social distancing recommendations.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez added that his county was waiting to see how well individuals would comply with guidance at parks, marinas and golf courses before the county would consider reopening beaches as well.

Basketball courts, batting cages, dog parks, indoor gyms, swimming pools and other areas will remain closed.

Palm Beach follows Miami-Dade in reopening golf courses and marinas, but will also open swimming pools.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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