Cleveland Metroparks CEO: ‘There’s all sorts of things you can do to keep safe distance from others’

Coronavirus

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — With so many people following Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s “Stay at Home” order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, it’s easy to go stir crazy.

But under the order, DeWine made it clear that it’s okay, and encouraged, to get outside and get some exercise.

Brian Zimmerman, CEO of the Cleveland Metroparks, spoke with FOX 8’s Stefani Schaefer about how to safely use much of what the parks have to offer during this time.

“The social part is being out, being active. But keeping keeping your distance is so extremely important to fight this,” Zimmerman said.

“There’s 24,000 acres, 18 park reservations, we have really something for everyone. You can fish, you can hike, there’s biking,” he said. “There’s all sorts of things you can do to keep safe distance from others.”

All Cleveland Metroparks golf courses remain open with the exception of Little Met at Mastic. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Nature Centers are closed.

“If people congregate it’s a problem. We want to keep people moving,” Zimmerman said.

“There’s 24,000 acres, 18 park reservations, we have really something for everyone. You can fish, you can hike, there’s biking. There’s all sorts of things you can do to keep safe distance from others.”

To help families of all ages, the Metroparks is doing Facebook Lives (Metroparks/Zoo) and expanding its free virtual classrooms to keep people engaged with the parks from their own homes.

Zimmerman said the park system was designed 102 years ago to help Northeast Ohioans get out and “be in nature.”

The Metroparks offered these best practices for anyone visiting its parks:

  • Think First: Do not use the parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Wash Hands: Wash your hands often, carry hand sanitizer, avoid touching surfaces with bare hands such as railings or benches.
  • Social Distancing: Provide other park users with proper space of at least six feet at all times during your visit.
  • Prepare For Your Trip: Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms and water fountains that may be closed for your safety.
  • Share the Trail: Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence as you pass.
  • Playgrounds Closed: All playgrounds and outdoor fitness stations are closed for safety.

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