Snohomish County parks reopening, partly, on Tuesday

Playgrounds and sports courts will stay closed in county parks. Cities are mostly following the same path.

MUKILTEO — Snohomish County parks will begin reopening Tuesday, while playgrounds and recreation facilities such as tennis courts remain closed due to COVID-19.

Hiking, boating and walking are permitted so long as visitors keep a 6-foot distance from other park visitors, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said in a press briefing Friday.

Gathering in groups is still a no-go, with the exception of people who live in the same home.

Most restrooms and public water fountains will remain closed.

“Be prepared as if you were going on a hike somewhere,” Somers said.

Cities can make independent decisions on opening their parks, but most are following the county’s lead.

Mukilteo detailed park re-openings Wednesday following Gov. Jay Inslee’s Monday announcement that restrictions on outdoor recreation would begin to loosen May 5.

In a Facebook video, Mayor Jennifer Gregerson outlined what to expect.

Starting Tuesday, Lighthouse Park will be open for boating, fishing and walking.

“But only in family groups, people you live with,” Gregerson said.

Parking areas at 92nd Street Park, Tails and Trails Dog Park and Edgewater Beach will open. Restrooms will remain closed. The city doesn’t have sufficient staffing to keep those spaces sanitized, according to the city’s website. Portable toilets will be open and are cleaned weekly.

Citywide, playgrounds and volleyball courts remain closed.

Boat launches will be open, but the docks may not be re-installed yet.

Gregerson advised against picnicking or eating outdoors.

Social distancing — keeping 6 feet between yourself and others — will be required, as a precaution to prevent the virus from spreading.

“Be ready to leave if parks look busy,” Gregerson said.

Parking lots and boat launches will also open up Tuesday in Everett.

Restrooms and activity areas, including any sports courts and off-leash areas, remain closed indefinitely.

In Marysville, the Cedarcrest Golf Course will reopen Tuesday, with social distancing enforced throughout the property. City parks were never closed, and playgrounds will remain taped off.

The Lynnwood Golf Course is also set to reopen Tuesday.

State-managed parks, wildlife areas, recreation land and boat launches, as well as Department of Natural Resources land, are set to open for day use Tuesday.

But some more popular state parks may stay closed, communications director Anna Gill said.

“Right now, we are looking at impacts on rural communities and the potential for crowding,” she said in an email.

A list of parks remaining shuttered will be posted Saturday at parks.state.wa.us, according to the website.

As of Friday, the U.S. Forest Service had not announced plans to reopen public spaces in Western Washington.

“We’re evaluating the possibility of opening National Forest trail heads and developed recreation areas to day use within the state of Washington,” Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest spokesperson Colton Whitworth said in an email.

Some areas with historically high concentrations of people may remain closed indefinitely, he said. When National Forest sites do open, restroom access will be limited or unavailable.

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; jgsanders@heraldnet.com.

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