Auburn reopens outdoor parks and recreation facilities under Phase 2

Courtesy photo
                                Les Gove Park in Auburn. On June 19, the state Department of Health approved King County’s application to move into Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start Plan, which includes new guidance for recreation and fitness.

Courtesy photo Les Gove Park in Auburn. On June 19, the state Department of Health approved King County’s application to move into Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start Plan, which includes new guidance for recreation and fitness.

Want to walk, run or bike? Shoot hoops, kick a ball, play tennis, play pickleball or skate?

Well, you can do all these things again in Auburn’s parks. Just keep your little group at five or fewer outside the household.

On June 19, the state Department of Health approved King County’s application to move into Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start Plan, which includes new guidance for recreation and fitness.

“We’re slowly making progress,” said Julie Krueger, arts and events manager for Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation.

To keep your favorite outdoor places open, however, you’ve got to keep up your COVID-19 guard — and practice physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others.

Under Phase 2, informal recreation of groups of five or fewer outside the household may camp again at Farm Wilderness Campground, and the city is accepting reservations at (253) 931-3043.

But not at the Day Camp area, the Auburn Community and Event Center, the Rec Teen Center, the Auburn Avenue Theater and the White River Valley Museum. In a word, all city-operated indoor facilities are closed, though child care camp options will be available starting July 6.

Also open is the climbing wall at Les Gove Park, community gardens and Game Farm Wilderness Park, again for the aforementioned informal recreation of groups of five or fewer outside the household.

Auburn Golf Course and the off-leash dog area at Roegner Park are open, but the city is not taking any picnic shelter reservations.

Mary Olson Farm will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday except for July 4, although the farmhouse and weaving shed are closed for the season.

Playgrounds are open, but the spray playground at Les Gove Park and the restrooms are closed.

“Restrooms are areas where physical distancing can be challenging,” Krueger said. “And keeping them sanitized to prevent the spread of the virus requires a higher level of service than we are able to provide due to limited protective supplies and limited seasonal staffing. A handful of our community parks have portable toilets that are serviced by a third party vendor two times per week.

“We will continue to share the ‘recreate responsibly’ message to park and trail visitors through on-site signs, social media sites, eblasts and the city website. We will continue to make informed operational decisions based upon the COVID-19 data and guidance from our public health experts. If further COVID-19 concerns develop, we may close parks and trails with limited notice to protect public health,” Krueger said.


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