Gilbert to start limited park reopenings May 8

Gilbert Regional Park
Gilbert Regional Park's ramadas, restroom and walking paths will reopen May 8. The playgrounds and splash pad will remain closed. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Regional Park's ramadas, restroom and walking paths will reopen May 8. The playgrounds and splash pad will remain closed. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert is reopening some of its parks amenities May 8 for residents’ use at their own risk.

Opening up are restrooms and tennis courts. The ramadas and walking paths at Gilbert Regional Park are opening as well as all of Freestone Skate Park, Cosmo Dog Park and the fenced-in dog area at Crossroad District Park.

The parks were closed March 28 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Physical distancing guidelines still apply, as Mayor Jenn Daniels stressed in her video message of May 7.

"We still need you to be complying with any of the rules that we have associated with it," Daniels said. "We know people want to get out and be social and make sure that they get to enjoy our parks, and we are glad that we can do that."


Still closed are playground equipment, splash pads, drinking fountains, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, rentals and pools.

Eva Kirschbaum, a digital marketing coordinator for the town, said in an email there is a difference between facilities and park amenities when it comes to making decisions on openings.

Facilities, including park recreation centers and town buildings, must wait until the governor's "Stay home, stay healthy, stay connected" order expires May 15 before they can be reopened. Splash pads also are treated as pools, which are explicitly prohibited from being open under the order, Kirschbaum said.

Amenities like playgrounds will be phased into opening as it becomes safe, she said, using the governor's analogy of a dimable light switch.

"There are no concrete dates in place for when we will be opening park amenities, but we are using data when working on our plans to ensure the safety of Gilbert residents," Kirschbaum wrote.

The town is asking people who are sick to stay home and others to wash their hands frequently.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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