Never Mind: Park Playgrounds Still Closed Citywide

Just a few hours after announcing that play areas at the city’s parks would reopen to the public, officials reversed course.

“This morning, we had a little bit of excitement about the possibility of opening the playground equipment at city parks,” Interim City Administrator Amanda Zeiber said in an email. “At this time, however, Executive Order 20-25 states that pools, skate parks, and playground equipment areas are to remain closed.”

Parks staff did clean the play equipment today in anticipation of reopening, Zeiber said, but have since reposted the signs noting that playground structures are still closed.

The announcement that park play areas would reopen Wednesday had originally come from Mayor Brian Hodson, who “regretfully” retracted his statement later that day and apologized for having jumped the gun.

“Our kids need to run, climb, and be social — basically be kids,” he said. “I wanted our children to have the opportunity to return to some normalcy. The playgrounds are cleaned and ready to go for when they can open.

“My hope is that Governor Kate Brown will seriously re-evaluate our playgrounds now that we are in Phase 1 and see the importance these play for our children’s well being.”

In the weekly communitywide public service announcement broadcast live from Canby Foursquare Church that night, Hodson said the city had received an email from the Oregon Health Authority “informing us — or me, specifically — that we should not have the playgrounds open.”

As reported, the gates to Community Park are open for vehicular traffic, and public restroom facilities at parks have reopened as well.

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