Town officials on Sunday reopened New Canaan parks strictly for use of walking trails.
Though park visitors may drive into places such as Waveny and Irwin, activities other than trail-walking—such as use of fields and playgrounds—are not permitted, with the sole exception of picking up to-go food from Mead Park Lodge, according to Emergency Management Director Mike Handler.
“We trust that residents will use common sense and maintain proper social distancing,” Handler said in Saturday’s town-wide outcall. “If possible, we suggest that you wear a face covering. Again, this is just a suggestion and we leave it up to you to decide what is appropriate given your activity. We hope this reduces some of the congestion on our roadways.”
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan closed New Canaan parks March 30. Since then, New Canaan has lost an additional 17 people to COVID-19 virus, bringing the town’s total to 21. (Some appear never to have stopped walking the trails at Waveny.)
The New Canaan Land Trust also has reopened its walking trails, though with guidelines that visitors practice social distancing, park in designated areas and keep dogs leashed.
“With warmer weather approaching and folks looking for ways to get out of the house, we expect that our preserves will see more visitors than ever before,” the organization said in a newsletter Saturday. “Given the extraordinary times that we are living in, it is extremely important that you follow these guidelines below to help keep everyone safe, and protect our community’s special places.”
Handler in his outcall reminded residents to walk against the traffic on the street as well as the sidewalk.
“This is both the safest way to walk and will have the added benefit of making our sidewalks directionally one-way where there are sidewalks on both sides of the street,” he said.
School fields and athletic facilities remain closed.