Orange parks are open, but at your own risk

  • Orange parks are “use at your own risk,” and require visitors to follow rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staff Photo/Domenic Poli

  • Orange parks are “use at your own risk,” and require visitors to follow rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Staff Photo/Domenic Poli

Staff Writer
Published: 9/11/2020 3:26:37 PM
Modified: 9/11/2020 3:26:22 PM

ORANGE — Town parks are open to the public, but posted signs warn people they visit at their own risk.

During last week’s Selectboard meeting, resident Laurie MacDonald used the public comment portion to clarify that Butterfield Park is open, but must be used by people at their own risk — much like the picnic tables set up downtown by a group of citizens to help eateries accommodate patrons while indoor seating is limited due to the pandemic.

Signs at the town parks remind visitors that face coverings are required and to stay at least 6 feet apart. Using the playground structures, participating in pick-up sports and gatherings of greater than 10 people are all prohibited.

MacDonald said she has heard from parents whose children were heartbroken by the assumption that town parks were closed.

“So many families feel criminalized by using the park, so they don’t dare use it,” she said of Butterfield Park, sandwiched between Hayden, King and East River streets. She added that some parents and guardians, under the belief the park is closed, avoid even driving or walking by the area because doing so upsets the children.

MacDonald, who said she raised eight children, believes youth recreation is more important now than ever because most family vacations have been nixed and organized sports are limited.

“Most families do not have large amounts of land for their children to run and get exercise,” she said, “so the town park is vital to keeping the kids healthy.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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