An important part of any city is its parks. During this unprecedented time, parks have had to be closed to help protect the public from COVID-19. Now that things have stabilized somewhat, it's time to start thinking about reopening these beloved attractions. To do so, though, requires some planning to help limit the risks that park-goers face. To help ensure you don't overlook anything, here are some service ideas to help prepare the parks for opening to the public.

Hand Sanitizing Stations

While on-site bathrooms are important, these facilities will not do enough to encourage people to keep their hands clean. That's why hand sanitizing stations are so important. These stations can be placed near the entrances to playgrounds so that people are more likely to begin their time on a playground with clean hands. Volunteers can set up a table and canopy and offer a touch-free spritz of hand sanitizer to children and adults coming in and out of the park.

Clean Up While Empty

Right now, parks are still closed in a variety of areas. This means that this is the perfect time for those looking to clean up their parks to get in and clear out garbage, broken/fallen branches, and other clutter that can normally be hard to spot with twenty children running around it. While the park is still empty, take the opportunity to rent a skip bin, gather up volunteers, and give the parks a cleaning that they’ve been desperately needing.

Increased Signage

One great thing about parks is that they can be used in a variety of ways, which are primarily up to the desires of the users of the parks. In a world where each individual is depending on every other individual for their safety, though, there needs to be some new rules in place. By increasing the signage around parks, you can help provide reminders to people about social distancing, hand-washing, and other important health behaviors.

Maintain Barriers

Though you want to open up as much of each park as possible, it's okay if you have to open them in stages. When this happens, volunteers can help the city keep these areas clear with homemade fencing made from yard stakes and hazard tape. This is particularly helpful in large areas where a city sign may not be enough to keep people aware of the new regulations. If your city has areas roped off, you can also help by maintaining these barriers when they fall or are damaged.
Of course, not every city has the same policies regarding their parks at this time. Some places are keeping them closed entirely while others are opening them up by degrees. However your city decides to move forward, the best thing that volunteers can do is support the city’s decisions with thoughtfully provided aid to make it easier for people to stay safe and healthy.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.