Coronavirus

Actions

How to stay safe at parks this holiday weekend

Metroparks wins fourth gold medal for excellence
Posted at 7:33 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 23:22:28-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metroparks expects big crowds during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Brian M. Zimmerman, CEO of the Metroparks, said the Metroparks has seen what he would call "record visitation" over the last few months.

"We're really just asking people to be safe. We're asking people to be respectful. Honestly, we're just asking to be kind to others," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman asked people to be respectful in neighborhoods as well since visitors to Edgewater Park are not only filling up parking lots but nearby neighborhoods, too.

"We are really trying to be part of the solution," Zimmerman said. "Use good common sense, use some etiquette."

Although the Metroparks is not requiring masks because people are outside, Zimmerman said he thinks wearing a mask is something everyone needs to be thinking about, regardless of where they are and said not everyone shares the same level of comfort.

Zimmerman said other Metroparks, as well as Cuyahoga Valley National Park, are seeing record visitation during the pandemic, too.

"But we're not seeing everybody with the same etiquette," Zimmerman said. "We've seen more trash left in the parks than any of the ten years combined that I've been here."

He urged people to "pack in, pack out," or else bring a garbage bag from home.

"Help us out," Zimmerman said. "Put your garbage in a bag and put it next to the can, which makes a lot easier for our staff to pick up and keep the parks clean."

Zimmerman said that like many organizations, the Metroparks have been affected by coronavirus.

"We have 650 people in furloughs and layoffs, and we normally hire about 1,200 seasonals. This year, we've got about 400, so about a third of the staff that we would ordinarily have," Zimmerman said. "So we're really just asking people to be part of the solution, be respectful of this great natural resource and again, pack in, pack out and do what you can to help us out."

He also encouraged people to step off the trail to let other people pass by at a safe distance.

"People have actually become more accustomed to stepping aside and being separate from each other. So some things are definitely working, but it's still a challenge," Zimmerman said.

He added, "We're all in this together. Just be respectful, kind, be nice to others. Wear your mask. If you're not feeling well, stay home."

Zimmerman said people might be turned away from popular spots like Edgewater, Villa Angela, Euclid Beach, and Wildwood if too many people show up, so he said everyone should show up early or consider less popular spots.

"Use one of those lesser-known parks, Washington Park to Ohio and Erie Canal has got a great trail system. Bedford has got an amazing single track mountain bike. West Creek in Parma is one of my favorites. We've got a new single track, a bike trail through there. There's great connections to the community," Zimmerman said.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Rebound Northeast Ohio News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.

We're Open! Northeast Ohio is place created by News 5 to open us up to new ways of thinking, new ways of gathering and new ways of supporting each other.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.

See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.

The federal government has begun distributing $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans to help relieve the economic burden caused by coronavirus. Click here for everything you need to know about checking the status and receiving these payments.

The CDC and the Ohio Department of Health are now recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Read more about the CDC's recommendation here. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a face mask from common household materials, without having to know how to sew.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Have the 5 On Your Side Investigators confront your issue. Click Here.