Boise Parks and Rec balances recreation with safety during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 12:34 PM, Apr 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 20:49:20-04

BOISE, Idaho — This past Wednesday the Boise Parks & Rec Department launched an ambassador program to help keep people informed on the trail while also reminding people about proper social distancing protocols.

Since the shelter-in-place order started the Parks & Rec Department has closed several of their amenities from the bike skills park, to the whitewater park to Rhodes Skate Park, however the Greenbelt, the Ridge to Rivers trail system and the parks remain open.

"I would say we are probably seeing 80 to 90 percent of the users at our park facilities and our greenbelt really to adhering to that physical distancing," said Doug Holloway the Boise Parks & Rec Director. "We are not out there to patrol, we are not out there to enforce any rules, we are out there to educate and provide that ambassador relationship.”

But the Parks & Rec Department has also had to make some other changes to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and those have happened because some people simply aren't cooperating.

"We closed the skate park two weeks ago and we still managed to get a number of skaters in there everyday," said Holloway.

So that forced the city to put a chain link fence around the park and Holloway tells us the mountain bikers have done a good job staying out of the bike skills park, however, the pump track has been a different story.

"We have had some issues with the public continuing to utilize the pump track even though the park is closed," said Holloway. "We will continue to evaluate that.”

These measures have been put into place to protect the public, but Mayor Lauren McLean and the Governor encourage people to get outside and exercise, but they stress it needs to be done in a safe manner.

At this point many of us are getting restless but the good news is there are places people can go to stretch their legs people just need to keep that six-foot distancing.

Again most people are practicing the the proper protocols and that is the key to keeping amenities like the Greenbelt and Ridge to Rivers Trail System open during this pandemic.

Here's a link to all the closures the Boise Parks & Rec Department has put into place.