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Sandy councilors approve keeping trails, community garden open with conditions

PMG FILE PHOTO - A date for reopening the parks is yet to be determined. In a weekend of seemingly constant new directives on addressing the COVID-19 crisis, Gov. Kate Brown ordered that all playgrounds, skate parks, sports areas and pools be closed immediately.

In response, the Sandy City Council closed the city's outdoor areas to the public in its March 23 virtual meeting, with few exceptions.

All parks, such as Meinig and Sandy Bluff Parks, which have playground equipment and picnic areas and dog parks are closed.

However, with the stipulation that people maintain social distancing while using them, both Tickle Creek Trail and Sandy River Trail and the community garden at Bornstedt Park remain available for recreation.

At the community garden, councilors agreed to keep the garden open, but also to remove all communal tools and hoses so as to not encourage the spread of contagions.

"People are going to want to grow things, especially in this economy as things go on," said Council President Jeremy Pietzold. "I think social distancing is an easier thing to do (there) and I think people will respect that there."

"In this economic climate that we've now entered, I think that could create potential hardship for people and I'd hate to see them lose that capability," added Councilor Laurie Smallwood.

Signage will be posted at all city-owned outdoor areas, detailing the conditions of use or closure. A date of when the parks will be reopened has not been set.

"As a lifelong Oregonian, I can certainly understand that when the sun comes out in the early spring, we like to go out and play," Mayor Stan Pulliam said. "But this situation is simply too serious and seeing all the local families and children using the playground equipment over this beautiful Oregon weekend was eye opening. People are simply putting both themselves and their loved ones at too great of a risk."


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