Rules for park visitors are always spelled out on display boards. But the coronavirus crisis necessitated the creation of additional regulations. Mike Lozon
Visitors are urged not to use parks with trails to Lake Michigan because keeping a safe social distance can be difficult on narrow boardwalks and stairs. Mike Lozon
Visitors to Ottawa County parks need to observe some additional protocol during the COVID-19 crisis, according to Jessica VanGinhoven, communications specialist for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Visitors are urged not to use parks with trails to Lake Michigan because keeping a safe social distance can be difficult on narrow boardwalks and stairs.
- Only visit parks alone or with members from your household.
- Keep a space of 6 to 10 feet from those not in your household on trails and in parking lots. Congregating is not permissible.
- Consider visiting another property if the parking lot of a park is more than half full.
- Wash your hands before and after a visit.
- Restrooms are not open, so be sure to plan ahead.
Besides the new procedures, VanGinhoven reminds park visitors to be on the alert for ticks that are returning with the warmer weather.
“Be sure to check for ticks on yourself, children and pets after a visit to a park, especially if you have been off-trail. We recommend keeping a lint roller in your vehicle to roll on your clothes immediately following a hike, and then do a more thorough tick check upon arriving home.”
Because of high-water levels, VanGinhoven also reminds visitors to wear the appropriate footwear if they are going to parks along a waterway.
This article is part of The Lakeshore, a new featured section of Rapid Growth focused on West Michigan's Lakeshore region. Over the coming months, Rapid Growth will be expanding to cover the complex challenges in this community by focusing on the organizations, projects, programs and individuals working to improve conditions and solve problems for their region. As the coverage continues, look for The Lakeshore publication, coming in 2020.