Burlington asks public to be mindful of crowding at recreation hot spots

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) With more gorgeous weather on the way for the holiday weekend, the unofficial kickoff to summer, Burlington officials are hoping to avoid crowding on the waterfront and other recreation hot spots.

If the large groups of friends we saw walking down to North Beach Thursday are any indication, many people are not taking social-distancing, mask-wearing and other COVID-19 health precautions seriously.

Some of the groups claimed to be roommates and others said they were just friends looking to enjoy the warm temperatures and sunshine.

"We were going to try to go down and literally just find the farthest away spot from people and just post up. And if people get near to us, either bail or find another spot," said Liam Rischmann of Burlington.

"We're hoping over the course of the summer that people think about that a little bit more. So rather than spending all afternoon at the beach, you might come for a couple hours, have your opportunity to be there, and then leave so that there is space for somebody else," said Burlington Parks Director Cindi Wight.

That's why the city is putting up signs at the beaches advising people to come, play, and move in order to provide room for others to enjoy the space.

As for enforcing social distancing, Wight said they won't be going around with a yardstick to measure how far people are apart. Instead, they're taking the state-recommended approach of educating people.