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State park manager says rules around closure have been broken, implores residents to stay off the grounds

PMG FILE PHOTO - It might be tempting to take a walk through Tryon Creek right now, but the park manager implores residents to stay away while the park is closed. On a beautiful spring day like today, you might be tempted to venture onto the trails at Tryon Creek State Park.

"What difference does one person make?" you reason.

But Tryon Creek State Park has been closed since March 23, when Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered all state parks to shutter in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and in a recent letter Tryon Creek Park Manager Iris Benson implored residents not to think of themselves as exceptions to the law.

"I am writing to alert you to some problems we are having at Tryon Creek," Benson wrote in the letter. "The park is closed because it needs to be: the trails are not wide enough to support social distancing without stepping off trail or crowding other people. While one person may not feel their presence is a threat, one person quickly becomes dozens, hundreds, and so on. This is a densely populated urban area, and unlawful access can get out of hand quickly."

Benson said residents should limit their walking to neighborhood streets until parks reopen.

The issues at Tryon Creek are just the latest example of stir-crazy community members testing the limits of what is acceptable during this time of social distancing. At City Hall, officials continue to evaluate whether community gardens can be open.


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