City of Burlington starts reopening park facilities

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The city of Burlington will reopen some park facilities this weekend.

Mayor Miro Weinberger announced on Wednesday that dog parks, tennis and pickleball courts, and the skate park will be available for use this weekend. He says those park amenities were at the top of the city’s list of places to reopen.

“In our incremental steps forward, we are going to prioritize those activities that have the greatest societal benefit and from a subset of that is activities that we are most confident can be done safely,” said Weinberger.

Weinberger says public health experts have advised that the risk of virus transmission appears to be low in those settings and the benefits on mental and physical health are high.

People who were at Battery Park on Wednesday think the city is making a good call.

“It’s not good to be all cramped up inside all the time. It’s nice to get some fresh air and get out,” said Kaitlyn Stewart.

“You don’t have to feel like you’re trapped inside your house. You can go out and spend time and not have to feel like you’re going to get sick. There’s plenty of people keeping their distance,” said Griffin Morehouse.

Weinberger says some things will remain off-limits. Caution tape will still block off playgrounds and basketball hoops will be missing their nets because the city can’t ensure people will be able to physically distance themselves while engaging in those activities. No word yet on when they will become available.

Weinberger also says the city is planning as if they will run summer youth programs, but he says the state has not provided all of the guidance needed yet.