BPRD to open 2 skate parks; sports courts opening still on hold

The Bend Park and Recreation District will re-open two skateparks Saturday following guidance by state authorities to expand access to outdoor recreation facilities.

The skateparks have been closed since March per the state executive order related to COVID-19.

The park district has three skate parks – two at Ponderosa Park and a third skatepark is at RockRidge Park.

The older skate park at Ponderosa Park, known by users as “Old Pondi,” will remain temporarily closed until resurfacing maintenance work is completed.

“We know this has been a long wait for skatepark users and we appreciate the patience and understanding as the popular park features were closed for safety in accordance with state restrictions”, said Michelle Healy, deputy executive director, Bend Park and Recreation District. “Recreation and time spent outdoors is vitally important for physical and mental health, especially during this pandemic.”

Skate park users are required to maintain current public health standards of 6-foot distancing and avoid gathering in groups.

Park users are asked to stay home if they feel sick. Signs and markings to designated recommended physical distancing space will be installed by Saturday morning when barriers and caution tape will be removed.

The district is also working to establish guidelines for reopening sport courts, including pickle ball, tennis, horse shoes and bocce.

Sport courts were closed by the governor’s executive order and reopening is informed by the Guidance for Outdoor Recreation.

Plans are being finalized to ensure safe conditions for play while maintaining distance and minimizing touching of shared equipment. Details and timing for reopening of sport courts will follow early next week.

“Community members are eager to resume sport court play. We need continued patience as we finalize plans and we’ll ask for compliance with reopening rules to maintain access to the courts,” added Healy.

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