Disregard for physical distancing requirements force closure
Due to public health and safety concerns, and in an effort to prevent large gatherings and ensure proper physical distancing, the City of Boulder is closing all park land and creek bed north of the Boulder Creek Path from the eastern boundary of Eben G. Fine Park, located at 101 Arapahoe Ave., to the western boundary of the city, effective immediately. This closure is intended to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 in an area shown as conducive to social gathering and large groups exceeding current Safer at Home orders. Eben G. Fine Park will remain open.
“In early May, we issued a strong warning to the community that inappropriate behavior and a failure to maintain physical distancing was putting police officers, park maintenance crews and community members’ health at risk,” said Police Chief Maris Herold. Between April 29 and May 19, Boulder police issued 66 citations at Eben G. Fine Park when education was ineffective.
This closure will be monitored by police to ensure the safety of the community. Education and warnings will occur first. Gatherings of 10 or more people will be asked to disperse. If non-compliance persists police will take additional enforcement action, as appropriate.
“This strategy is consistent with regional and national policing best practices. Recent violent events have occurred all over the country when there is strict enforcement of social distancing and the use of facial coverings without clear outreach to provide education and warnings,” said Herold.
“It’s a balancing act to keep our community safe while allowing everyone to enjoy our beautiful outdoors. This is a difficult time for all of us, no matter your situation. However, we take putting others at risk – by our young people, as well as the many adults who have told us that they will not be following Public Health Orders – very seriously. We will continue to support law enforcement in the best strategies to monitor and take action if such behavior continues,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health executive director.
“This closure is necessary and disappointing, as it removes access to the creek for everyone due to the poor choices of some. We sincerely hope community members can recreate responsibly, honoring current public health orders, so that the amazing public lands Boulder offers can remain open, and community members and staff can be safe,” said Parks and Recreation Director Ali Rhodes.
The city, in partnership with health officials, will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and provide updates to the community. Visit bouldercolorado.gov/coronavirus for the latest city information. For updates from Boulder County, visit bouldercounty.org.