BPRD closes playgrounds, courts, skate parks; delays summer program registration

In a true sign of the times, the Bend Park and Recreation District is asking people to stay home.

Following Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order earlier in the day, BPRD closed its playgrounds, sports courts, exercise equipment and skate parks Monday afternoon.

“This is an extraordinary step taken to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 and I ask for everyone’s cooperation in shared sense of responsibility so we can be most effective as we weather this public health pandemic,” said Don Horton, executive director.

Signs will be posted in parks as soon as possible with the following information:

  • Playgrounds, sports courts, exercise equipment and skateparks are closed. This includes pickleball, tennis, basketball, horseshoes and bocce ball courts.
  • Walking, running, biking, skating or using a wheelchair or other mobility device while maintaining at least 6 feet between people is allowed.
  • Off-leash dog areas, picnic shelters and restrooms remain open.
  • Keep at least 6 feet from others for social distancing.
  • Wash hands before and after any visit to a park or trail.
  • If this is not possible or if you are sick, stay at home – do not use visit a park or trail.

As a reminder, All BPRD facilities are closed to the public including:

  • Juniper Swim & Fitness Center
  • The Pavilion (Ice Season has concluded)
  • Art Station
  • District Office
  • Park Services
  • Bend Senior Center

The district’s park stewards and contracted service from Bend Patrol will inform park users and seek compliance from community members to follow these closures and restrictions. Signs and other markings will be used to inform park users of the closures and restrictions. The executive order states that violations will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor.

While facilities and outdoor amenities are closed, district staff members are exploring new ways to help community users be active, stay engaged and avoid social isolation.

Fitness instructors led virtual exercise classes late last week that have been viewed more than 5,000 times in the first few days of availability on the Juniper Swim & Fitness Center and Bend Senior Center Facebook pages. Bend Senior Center staff are also reaching out to older adult patrons to check in because of the limited social contact being advised by public health officials.

“We are experiencing the uncertainty of the current situation and will continue to do our best to be here for recreation needs while also doing our part to encourage maximum time for people to stay home,” Horton added.

Spring programs delayed: Now through April 28

All spring registration programs will not start until at least April 29 in accordance with Governor Brown’s mandate that schools remain closed until April 28.

District staff have plans for how programs may be offered as abbreviated sports seasons and programs. Other options may include combined sessions or rescheduling some classes. Those registered for a spring program will receive additional information directly from the program coordinator. Credits will be issued for any cancelled or shortened classes and facility passes will be extended for the duration of the closure. Refunds are available upon request.

Summer registration moves to Monday, April 20

Summer program registration will open on Monday, April 20. An online preview of programs is available now. A PDF for download will be available by Monday, March 30.

If activities are able to resume next month, the district will provide something to look forward to. No payment will be required at the time of registration.

“Our goal is to assist individuals and families with summer planning while also recognizing that there’s uncertainty about what summer activities will entail due to the pandemic,” added Horton.

For more information, visit bendparksandrec.org.

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