Charleston Parks Conservancy update regarding COVID-19

As our City’s response COVID-19 scales up, the Charleston Parks Conservancy is monitoring the situation closely. We know that the power of parks to support a stronger, healthier community endures, but in this time of “social distancing,” we also know that we must adjust the way we enjoy our parks.

Therefore, in accordance with City Council’s Ordinance passed yesterday banning public gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 60 days, all Conservancy volunteer and public engagement activities in our parks through May 18 are canceled. This includes Garden in the Parks, Gather and Garden and all community engagement events such as Sunday Brunch, Movie Nights and Music Series. It saddens us to do this, but we know it is necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

Social distancing can take a toll on our mental health. However our parks provide a connection to the outdoors and to each other. Spending just 20 minutes in a park is enough to improve your well-being. It lowers stress, blood pressure and heart rate, while buoying mood and mental health.

So while all City of Charleston parks are open, we encourage you to use them! Recognizing that we all have a responsibility to each other to slow the spread of the virus however, we encourage you to follow these recommendations:

– Don’t use parks if you are exhibiting symptoms.
– Wash your hands prior to and after using our parks.
– Prepare for limited access to water fountains.
– Follow the City’s ordinance and limit the size of gatherings to no more than 10 people, including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports and other group hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
– Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times.

Our three Community Gardens at Magnolia, Medway and Corrine Jones Parks remain open, and gardeners should follow the guidelines above.

Finally, we strongly discourage the further use of playgrounds and play equipment. They include high-touch surfaces that are difficult or impossible to clean, and it is typically not possible to maintain social distancing at playgrounds.

Our parks and public spaces have always served as places where people can find respite and seek peace and restoration. During this time of uncertainty, we need these places now more than ever. We can enjoy them in a way that protects each other and follows public health guidance, but also gives us a place to greet our neighbors, even if it is from afar. We are all in this together!

In the meantime, get outside and enjoy your parks!

 

Show us how you are using our parks! 🎥🌸

The Conservancy is asking all Park Angels to show us how you and your family are using Charleston parks during these extraordinary times. Send us a video of your park experience and let us see how you are enjoying your favorite green spaces while observing best public health practices.

We invite you to send your videos to [email protected] with the
subject line: My Charleston park video

We are working on a project that we look forward to sharing with everyone soon. Stay tuned for updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please limit each video to 30 seconds or less.

Sincerely,
Harry Lesesne
Executive Director

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