Update: Two South King County cities have joined nearby municipalities in reopening their playgrounds. Playgrounds across the region have been closed for months to limit the spread of the coronavirus. (And we heard that Metro Parks' playgrounds in Tacoma will open July 8.)
Covington and Maple Valley have both reopened their playgrounds, with specific new rules in place for using the play equipment, including wearing face coverings (more on that below).
The City of Covington has reopened its play areas, though the city cautions families that they're using the play equipment at their own risk. Users should stay six feet away from people outside their families, wash or sanitize their hands before and after playing on play equipment, find another place to play if a particular playground or structure is full, wear a mask and stay home if anyone in their household is feeling sick. Read full details on the status of Covington parks on the website.
The City of Maple Valley has also reopened its playgrounds as of June 24. The city emphasizes that play equipment in parks will not be sanitized and advises families to take the following precautions: wash or sanitize hands before and after playing, use a face covering, stay six feet away from others, avoid crowding and stay home if sick.
Starting June 26, everyone over age 4 in the State of Washington must wear a mask when in a public place. This includes recreating outdoors when individuals can't maintain six feet of physical distance between themselves and other families. Families playing outside or in a park by themselves, more than six feet away from others, can remove their masks, according to Gov. Jay Inslee's mandate.
Update June 23, 2020:
Pierce County Parks announced June 22 that its playgrounds are open, with no more than five kids playing on any structure and parents encouraged to keep kids six feet apart. Families should also bring along their own hand sanitizer.
Note that not all parks and playgrounds located in Pierce County are operated by Pierce County Parks. Metro Parks' playgrounds in Tacoma, for example, are physically in Pierce County, but they are not part of Pierce County Parks' jurisdiction and remain closed (they're scheduled to open July 8).
Find a complete list of Pierce County Parks on the website.
The City of Auburn also announced that its playgrounds have reopened. Check the city's website for a list of parks and their features. Note that Mary Olson Farm is open weekends for the summer season, but that the popular spray park at Les Gove Park remains closed.
Original story (published June 11, 2020):
I don't know who isn't going stir-crazy these days. As kids finish up "school," such as it is, and the weather improves, South Sound families are getting some sweet relief.
Playgrounds in the municipalities of University Place and Orting are now open for play. University Place is a city of about 30,000 just to the southwest of Tacoma. Orting is a town of about 8,000 people located southeast of Puyallup.
University Place parks
City of University Place parks with playground equipment or play structures include:
- Cirque Bridgeport Park at 7250 Cirque Dr. W., University Place
- Colegate Playground at 3717 Grandview Dr. W., University Place
- Sunset Terrace Park at 1902 Seaview St. W., University Place
Note that Chambers Creek Regional Park, while located in University Place, is operated by Pierce County Parks, and playgrounds in that jurisdiction remain closed.
City of Orting parks with play equipment include:
- Calistoga Park at 802 Calistoga St. W., Orting (you will find a dog park here as well)
- Main City Park at Calistoga Street West and Van Scoyoc Avenue Southwest, Orting
- Rainier Meadows Park at 511 Brown St. S.E., Orting
- Whitehawk Park at 409 Orting Ave. N.W., Orting
Tip: One of Orting's attractions is the Foothills Trail that runs right through town. It makes for a great kid-friendly bike ride and you can hop on the trail right at Main City Park.
Both municipalities reference plans to sanitize play equipment nightly, but if you go, we suggest bringing along your own sanitizer for little hands. Bear in mind that restroom facilities in parks likely remain closed and plan accordingly. As always, use your own best judgment for your family when venturing out, practice physical distancing and stay safe.
Do you know of more playgrounds in the area that have reopened? If so, let us know! Happy playing.