Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

More reopening in Contra Costa effective Friday at 5 p.m. – outdoor dining, pools, religious services with strict limits

Friday, June 5th, 2020

From Contra Costa Health Services

Contra Costa County residents may again enjoy outdoor swimming pools, outdoor seating at restaurants and dog parks under a new health officer order released today.

The order, effective 5 p.m. today, also allows for outdoor religious services of up to 100 people, indoor religious services of up to 12 people, use of outdoor picnic and barbecue spaces, and overnight camping for people belonging to the same household.

Because of the progress made in the fight against COVID-19, Contra Costa health officers feel confident opening additional businesses and activities. The State of California has determined that while counties can move slower than state in reopening, they cannot move more quickly. The openings announced today bring Contra Costa County in closer alignment to state guidelines. It also aligns with other Bay Area counties taking similar steps.

“We have made great progress slowing COVID-19 in our county,” said Candace Andersen, chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. “I want to offer a heartfelt thank you to all who suffered and sacrificed to follow these health orders throughout this pandemic. I know it has not been easy. But you have helped save lives.”

This order follows a modification earlier this week that allowed offices and many retail businesses to reopen and created guidance for small gatherings including people from different households.

Previous health orders requiring physical distancing and face coverings in public spaces remain in effect. Contra Costa residents should also continue to emphasize handwashing and other hygiene measures in their daily lives to reduce their risk of becoming infected.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in our community, and we need to take precautions to prevent outbreaks,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, the county health officer. “Another way we can keep ourselves and our families safe is to get tested, even if we feel well.”

The new order includes guidance for safely conducting the newly permitted activities, including requirements for businesses. Details, including the full text of the order, are available at cchealth.org/coronavirus.

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More reopening expected this week in Contra Costa: business, social activities being considered

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

But no churches until June 15 and only outdoor events

By Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer & Anna Roth, Contra Costa County Health Director

May 30, 2020 – If we continue to make progress in our fight to contain COVID-19, Contra Costa County will be relaxing more restrictions on businesses and social activities in the coming days and weeks. Details will be announced on June 2. Below are some of the most significant changes being considered:   Effective Wednesday, June 3

Businesses

  • Office-based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)
  • Services that don’t require close customer contact, such as housekeeping, car washes, pet grooming and plumbing
  • Outdoor museums, and open gallery spaces and other public spaces with modifications
  • Indoor retail stores, including shopping malls and swap meets

Activities

  • Childcare, including child and youth educational activities and camps for all children, not just essential and allowed workers
  • Small outdoor social gatherings with social distancing (household support bubbles and child extracurricular activities)

Effective Monday, June 15

These are higher risk activities and thus restrictions would be relaxed at a later date.

  • Limited-capacity religious services and cultural ceremonies up to 100 people. These would be limited to outdoor events only.
  • Protests up to 100 people; limited to outdoor events only

The state has a timeline for opening higher risk activities like swimming and salons, which can be found at covid19.ca.gov.

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Sheriff’s Marine Patrol continues search for Delta boater missing since Thursday morning

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Photo by CCCSheriff.

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County, Office of the Sheriff

A search for a missing boater is continuing this morning by the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Marine Patrol Unit.

On Thursday, May 28, 2020, at about 10:30 in the morning, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a missing boater who had gone into the waters in the San Joaquin River, north of Webb Tract.

The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit responded and were assisted by Solano County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Umut Felik, a 27-year-old man from San Francisco, was swimming when he apparently had trouble staying above the water. At one point he went underwater and did not resurface. His friends on a boat went into the water to search for him but were not able to find him. They reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Office.

A search of the area with a sonar was suspended at 8 PM. Felik was not located.

Anyone with any information on this incident to asked to contact the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit at (925) 427-8507.

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Antioch Water Park opening postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

Monday, May 18th, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend Opening cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis the City of Antioch, Recreation Department, is postponing all activity at the Antioch Water Park. The traditional opening weekend over the Memorial Day Holiday, May 23-25, 2020 is canceled. Current shelter-in-place rules prevent public gathering at this time for the safety of all residents and staff. The Water Park will open when it is safe to bring the community together.

May is National Water Safety Month so all families are encouraged to talk about water safety with their children. Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children ages 1-4 and more than 70% of childhood drowning incidents take place at home. The Water Park has an excellent safety video to share with families – www.antiochca.gov/water-park.

All Water Park operations will follow the directions provided by Contra Costa County Health Department including swimming lessons and water safety instruction, swimming exercise and general water park admission. When the final guidelines are released the Recreation Department will announce an opening date. Residents are encouraged to stay connected with the City of Antioch by following the daily announcements posted on the website www.antiochca.gov. For more information about the Antioch Water Park summer season, season passes, swimming lessons, and general summer recreation programs please call the Department at 925-776-3050. Recreation staff is working each day to assist Antioch families.

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Lone Tree Golf Course and Driving Range re-opening May 4 with social spacing, safety guidelines

Friday, May 1st, 2020

The Golf Course and driving range will re-open this Monday, May 4th adhering to social spacing and safety requirements:

  • Social Spacing of six-foot spacing minimum required at all times for entire property.
  • Tee time reservations mandatory.  Call 925-706-4220 to make your reservation. 
    • No walk ins.
    • Limited Tee times each hour.
    • Walking rounds encouraged.
    • One rider per cart (No riders/non-golfers at this time)
    • Golf Carts sanitized after each use.
    • No carts issued after 4 PM; walking rounds only after 4 PM.
  • Pre-payment strongly recommended.
    • Call the Golf Shop 925-706-4220 and pay for your round in advance over the phone or pay online here. 
      • If calling, please designate one player to pay for the whole group and other players in group pay that individual back day of.
  • Golf Shop & Clubhouse will be closed to Golfers.
  • Clubhouse bathrooms will be closed!  On course bathrooms will be open and sanitized regularly throughout each day.
  • Face-masks required in Clubhouse area.

On Course

  • Cups on course inverted so ball easily removed from cup.
  • Pins must be left in.
  • No rakes in sand traps; lift & place rule in sand traps.
  • No ball-washers or trash cans on course.
  • No congregating before or after round including in parking lots or patio areas.

Driving Range

  • Range hours 6 AM – 8 PM.
  • Every other range stall closed.
  • Call golf shop to purchase bucket or see attendant on range; give credit card, debit card, or range card # for charges.
  • Last bucket sold will be 7:30 PM.

Support social spacing guidelines at all times so that all may stay healthy and all can continue to enjoy golf!

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Op-Ed: Help keep East Bay regional parks safe and open

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

View of Mt. Diablo from the Stewartville Trail in the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve on March 22, 2020. Photos by Allen Payton

A message from East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert E. Doyle

In the Bay Area we are blessed with over a million acres of beautiful public parkland. Californians love to get outdoors to enjoy nature and exercise, in fact they depend on it. For residents and their families it is an essential and fundamental part of their daily lives. Parks make lives better.

We are all currently facing the greatest health pandemic of the last 100 years, and a “Shelter in Place” order that must be taken seriously.

View from the Stewartville Trail on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

We want to help get everyone through this crisis by keeping our parks open, but the safety of the public – and that of our employees – has to be the highest priority. Like you, many of our staff are sheltering in place, taking care of themselves and their loved ones. This creates a significant challenge for keeping our parks open.

We have tried to keep our 73 parks and over 1,300 miles of trails open through this crisis, but what happened this past weekend was unsafe and distressing. Thousands of Bay Area residents headed to nature – overwhelming parks, parking areas, and staff. Overcrowding has already forced many of our fellow park agencies to consider closing.

Our current limited staff is doing its best to keep up with the community’s need to exercise and get outside. However, staff still needs to respond to emergencies, remove hazardous trees, and work on fuels reduction as we prepare, along with CalFire, for another serious fire season. I want to express my appreciation to all park staff everywhere, working hard during this emergency.

Many of our building facilities have been closed for some time to reduce the potential spread of the virus, including children’s play areas and structures, picnic areas, visitor centers, and campgrounds. For health and safety reasons, park restrooms and drinking fountains are also not available.

View of the Senator John A. Nejedly Bridge in Antioch from the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Bend The Curve

We need your help to keep our parks safe for you and our staff. Because of recent park overcrowding, use of picnic areas, and unsafe group gatherings and meet-ups, we have decided to “Temporarily Close” specific parks and park areas from Friday, March 27 through Thursday, April 30. A few parks are fully closed, while only some parking lots and access points are closed at others. We hope this will help us limit overcrowding and help “Bend the Curve.” For up-to-date information on park area closures go to www.ebparks.org/coronavirus.

We are coordinating with health departments daily. If unsafe overcrowding continues, or the public does not maintain social distancing – even for dogs – we may be forced to close additional areas. As Governor Newsom said last Monday, “We can’t bend the curve if everyone is out. I don’t want to close big, beautiful open spaces. But we can’t see what we saw over the weekend.”

I have received many emails, since we announced additional closures, concerned that their favorite park or parking area has been closed, or that restrooms are not open. On behalf of the Park District, I would like to thank the public for their understanding and cooperation. We have tried to spread closures across the District as best we can. However, safety is the priority.

The good news: as the largest regional park system in the nation, the vast majority of our parks, open space, and trails remain open, as are our 300-miles of paved regional trails.

If they are to remain open, we need your help. Together we can BEND THE CURVE!

Also, check our website before you go to see updates on any closures. Be sure to “go” before you go and wash your hands before and after your visit a park or trail. Bring hand sanitizer if you have it.

While the park district normally allows dogs off leash in many parks, because of the high use, for public safety and to maintain social distancing, the district is asking that dogs be on a leash.

Robert Doyle is general manager of the East Bay Regional Park District. Doyle has been with the Park District since 1975 and has served as General Manager since 2011. The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest park district of its kind in the United States with 73 regional parks on over 125,000 acres of open space.

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OP-ED: COVID-19 mitigation is not vacation

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

By Don Amador

With hospitals and emergency responders running out of masks and other PPE in California and elsewhere, it should come as no surprise that local, state, and federal land managers are expanding the scope of their COVID-19 temporary access restrictions to popular destination recreation sites that – are or have the potential to -attract large crowds of visitors.

For example, California State Parks issued a news release late last night that stated, it is taking additional safety measures to reduce crowds and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Many state parks and beaches received record visitation over the weekend which made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social distancing practices.

LINK TO STATE PARKS ANNOUNCEMENT

https://www.parks.ca.gov/NewsRelease/945

The Nevada BLM issued a temporary closure order for the Sand Mountain Recreation Area near Fallon, Nevada.   As many of you know, the Sand Mountain OHV Area is a popular destination site for families and clubs that enjoy riding dirt-bikes, ATVs, SxSs, and 4WD vehicles.

LINK TO NV BLM CLOSURE OF SAND MOUNTAIN

https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/Emergency%20Closure%20Order.pdf

Based on photos and stories posted on social media, it appears that many motorized and non-motorized recreationists have misinterpreted various “shelter-at-home” orders from state or county government as authorization for them to take a short or long-term vacation – often with large groups – on public lands.

Until we collectively “Flatten the Curve,”   recreationists should honor the stay at home directives and if they do go out for trail activities it should be close to home and/or in dispersed areas sans large crowds where social distancing is practiced. Respecting the seriousness of this issue will hasten its resolution and help expedite the withdrawal of closure orders and the reopening of public lands for both casual use and permitted events.

The professional healthcare workers, law enforcement officials, and park maintenance staff that I know, will be greatly appreciative of us doing our part to address the coronavirus.

Amador has 30 years in the recreation management and advocacy profession. Don is president of Quiet Warrior Racing, a recreation consulting company located in Oakley, CA. Don is also CEO of the Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance, a non-profit group that works with volunteers and land agencies to recover, restore, and reopen recreation facilities damaged by wildfires. Don may be reached via email at: damador@quietwarriorracing.com

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Park District closes regional parks, restricts parking to limit overcrowding for public and staff safety; trails still open

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Additionally, park picnic areas are closed, and all group gatherings prohibited.

By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, East Bay Regional Park District

The COVID-19 health emergency remains a serious and evolving situation. This past weekend, the Park District saw more people in parks than on a busy holiday. “We can’t bend the curve if everyone is out. I don’t want to close big, beautiful open spaces. But we can’t see what we saw over the weekend,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday. On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Newsom ordered temporary closures for vehicular traffic at State parks in five California counties: Los Angeles County, Marin County, San Mateo County, Sonoma County, and San Diego County.

Unsafe overcrowding is a concern. While the Park District hopes to keep parks and trails open, some closures are necessary to limit overcrowding and maintain social distancing. The list below of parks, developed park areas, parking lots, and entrance points will be closed beginning Friday, March 27, 2020, through Thursday, April 30, 2020. Trails will remain accessible on a walk-in, bike-in basis.

“We are all in this together,” said Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “We want to help everyone during this crisis by keeping parks open, but safety of the public and our employees is our top priority.”

“If parks are too crowded, please help us keep people safe by going home,” added Doyle.

Ways the public can help keep parks open include:

  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people
  • No picnicking, groups, gatherings, or meetups (only immediate households should be together)
  • Pack-in, pack-out trash, including dog poop (there is limited trash collection during COVID-19)

Park visitation and park use will continue to be monitored closely, with additional closures possible. Currently, state and county health departments have told us they want East Bay Regional Parks to remain open and accessible for outdoor activity if possible. However, it may also be necessary to close more park areas based on overcrowding or additional orders from State or local health agencies.

We thank the public for their cooperation and understanding during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Keeping parks open for the public is challenging with limited staffing and the Park District is doing its best to balance the requirements of State and local health agencies’ “Shelter in Place” orders, and the community’s need for exercise and stress relief.

The public is encouraged to check ebparks.org for up-to-date information on closures.

COVID-19 CLOSURES THROUGH THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2020:

(All picnic areas, restrooms, water fountains, swim facilities/areas, playgrounds, campgrounds, group campsites, backcountry campsites, sports fields, kiosks, and reservable facilities are closed.)

NEW CLOSURES BEGINNING FRIDAY, MARCH 27:

  • Black Diamond – Upper Parking Lot Closed (Parking available at Sidney Flat)
  • Castle Rock Recreation Area Closed
  • Contra Loma Closed (Trails Open from Frederickson Lane)
  • Crown Beach – Otis Parking Lot Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
  • Del Valle Closed (Trail Access from Arroyo Staging Area Only)
  • Diablo Foothills (Limited Parking for Trail Access)
  • Garin/Dry Creek – Meyer’s Garden Closed
  • Point Isabel – Main Parking Area Closed (Walk-In Access Only
  • Reinhardt Redwood Regional ParkRedwood Road Gate Closed
  • Piedmont Stables (Boarders Allowed to Care for Horses)
  • Roberts Regional Recreation Main Park Area Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
  • Shadow Cliffs Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
  • Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve – Tunnel Road Entrance Closed (All Other Access Points Open)
  • Sunol Regional Wilderness Closed
  • Tilden Botanic Garden – Garden Closed

PREVIOUS CLOSURES (STILL IN EFFECT):

Anthony Chabot Closures

  • Marciel Gate
  • Chabot Equestrian Center Parking Lot (Boarders Allowed for Care for Horses)
  • Skyline Stables (Boarders Allowed for Care for Horses)

Ardenwood Closures

  • Ardenwood Closed

Bay Point Shoreline Closures

  • Closed Due to Construction

Big Break Closures

  • Big Break Visitor Center

Black Diamond Closures

  • Mine Closed
  • Sidney Flats Visitor Center
  • Greathouse Visitor Center

Briones Closures

  • Bear Creek Staging Area

Regional Trails Closures

  • Lafayette-Moraga Old Moraga Ranch Trail (Closed due to Landslide)

Coyote Hills Closures

  • Main Parking Lots
  • Coyote Hills Visitor Center

Crown Beach Closures

  • McKay Parking Lot (Walk-In Access Only)
  • Crab Cove Visitor Center

Del Valle Closures

  • Del Valle Visitor Center

Garin/Dry Creek/Pioneer Closures

  • Visitor Center
  • Apple Orchard

Lake Chabot Closures

  • Boat Ramp (No Boating/No Quagga Inspection)

Lake Temescal Closures

  • South Parking Lot

Leona Canyon Closures

  • Main Staging Area

MLK Shoreline Closures

  • Tidewater Staging Area
  • Tidewater Outdoor Recreation Office
  • Tidewater Oakland Strokes Operations

Quarry Lakes Closures

  • Boat Ramp (No Boating/No Quagga Inspection)

Sunol Closures

  • Sunol Visitor Center

Tidewater Closures (See MLK Shoreline)

  • All Areas Closed

Tilden Closures

  • All Picnic Areas Along Lake Anza and Brook roads
  • Fern Picnic Area Parking
  • Indian Camp Parking Lot, Playground, and Picnic Area
  • Lone Oak Parking Area
  • Lakeview Parking Lot
  • Mineral Springs Parking Lot – No Trails
  • Lake Anza Road and Parking Area
  • Tilden Golf Course
  • Golf Course Gated Lot (Bottom Half)
  • Steam Trains/Golden Gate Live Steamers
  • Merry-Go-Round
  • Native Here Nursery
  • South Park Drive (Continued Newt Closure Past April 1)

Tilden Botanic Garden Closures

  • Botanic Garden Visitor Center

Tilden Nature Area Closures

  • Tilden Nature Area Closed (Walk-In Access Only)
  • Tilden Little Farm
  • Environmental Education Center
  • Indian Camp Parking Lot

Wildcat Canyon Closures

  • Walk-In Entrance Trail into the Alvarado Picnic Area

The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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