Kirkland has a plan to “play it safe” with parks this summer, detailing when playgrounds, sports courts, public restrooms and other amenities may reopen.
At the May 19 meeting, city councilmembers voted on a plan to reopen Kirkland’s parks to align with the phases of Washington’s reopening plan.
But some facilities and events won’t open this summer regardless of phasing, and are closed until Sept. 1. Peter Kirk Pool will remain closed for the summer season, and Peter Kirk Community Center and North Kirkland Community Center will remain closed except for providing human services support and selected senior services. All public, private and nonprofit special events that would use city facilities are also cancelled. Current parks and recreation programming and Green Kirkland Partnership restoration events are cancelled as well. All refunds will begin to be processed on Tuesday, May 26. Community members do not have to take any action to receive a refund.
“The City Council did not make any of these decisions lightly,” Councilmember Kelli Curtis stated in a press release. “We understand that parks programming and outdoor spaces are essential to the quality of life of Kirkland residents. It was a difficult and thoughtful process to arrive at a plan that we believe provides for the physical and mental well-being of the community, while slowing the spread of COVID-19.”
All plans are subject to change depending upon industry standards as they are developed by Gov. Inslee, according to a city of Kirkland press release. In all phases, group restrictions set by the Governor must be followed.
The city is also still evaluating the possibility of providing lifeguards at swim beaches this summer.
“We understand the importance of access to parks and open spaces for all of our community members, but especially for many of our residents that would not have access to play areas without public parks,” Councilmember Jon Pascal stated in the release. “The approved strategy allows us to provide safe spaces for recreation, while making it possible to reallocate staff resources to assist our more vulnerable populations and to encourage safe physical distancing while the community enjoys our parks.”
Here’s the breakdown of what park amenities will be open during the Governor’s four phases for reopening:
Phase one the following are open with group size restrictions in place.
- Beachfront parks
- Dog parks
- Docks and piers
- Marina Park moorage
- Boat launches
- Marina Park restroom
- Kirkland Cemetery
Phase two the previously listed amenities are open as well as these additional items (group size restrictions still in effect):
- All public park restrooms
- Picnic shelters
- Tennis courts
- Pickleball courts
- Park vendors
Phase three group size restrictions remain in effect, and the following amenities are also reopened:
- All park playgrounds
- Park pavilions
- Basketball courts
- Volleyball courts
- Scheduled rental use of athletic fields (All organizations renting athletic fields will need to also submit a plan detailing how they will keep all those involved safe, from players to spectators, or risk terminating their rental agreements.)
- Informal use of athletic fields
Phase four will reopen all parks for regular use, except for the facilities and events that remain closed or cancelled until Sept. 1.