All Town Parks and Beaches To Close Until Further Notice
First Selectman Fred Camillo has ordered all Town parks and beaches closed to the public, effective at 8 p.m. today, Sunday, March 22, 2020. The closures will be effective until further notice.
The closure includes but is not limited to tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, ball fields, school grounds and open spaces. Bathrooms at all recreational facilities will be closed.
“This is a decision I did not make lightly. Our parks are being overwhelmed by visitors who are not practicing social distancing,” Mr. Camillo said. “This is a national public health emergency. While it is good for people to enjoy the outdoors and exercise, to do so in such large numbers presents the possibility of a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.”
On Saturday, March 21, there were 8,433 visitors to Greenwich Point Park alone.
“I acknowledge that there will be a few weeks of aggravation but the sooner we do it, the sooner we’ll be able to end this pandemic. For the past week, I have been saying that if people do not adhere to the national public health guidelines of social distancing, I would be forced to close the parks and beaches. It is unfortunate, but I have to make this difficult decision in the interest of the welfare and health safety of our residents,” Mr. Camillo also said. 2
The decision to close the beaches and parks was made after discussion with and with the support of Town department heads and administrative staff, the Board of Selectmen, our state Legislative delegation and Congressman Jim Himes.
The closure of the parks and beaches follows Mr. Camillo’s decision to close Town Hall to employees, effective at 10 a.m. Monday, March 23, through April 22. The Town-operated Griffith E. Harris Golf Course will close at the end of business today, Sunday, March 22.
Department of Parks & Recreation staff and the Greenwich Police Department, along with members of the Town’s volunteer fire companies will enforce the parks and beach closures. Violators of this directive may be cited for trespassing or more severe criminal sanctions in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes.
Residents seeking a respite in the outdoors may use any of the trails and sidewalks in Town, while maintaining social distancing.