Residents return to reopened neighborhood parks

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SAN DIEGO — San Diegans were eager to take advantage several reopened neighborhood parks Tuesday after weeks of closures. 

Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Monday that some neighborhood parks and trails would reopen for passive activities. The announcement came after a weekend of protests from residents who wanted to be able to use parks and beaches again after weeks of following statewide stay-at-home orders.

The city and county of San Diego closed most parks and beaches in March to discourage people from mingling and spreading the coronavirus. The closures were prompted by large gatherings at city beaches, Balboa Park and at Mission Trails Regional Park after local leaders had called on residents to practice social distancing.

Tuesday, dozens of people were seen walking and jogging at Balboa Park for the first time in weeks. Some of the park is open, but Balboa’s central mesa and museums remain closed. 

Individual activities are allowed, including walking, jogging and biking. But city leaders have said that social distancing must be maintained. Group gatherings and team sports are not allowed. Playgrounds and ball courts remain off limits. 

Some trails have also reopened. But the popular trails on Cowles Mountain and in the Los Penasquitos Preserve remain closed. 

“I was so bored, I was about to die,” said one woman walking her dog. “It’s time to open it up.” 

Others said they are going to remain cautious. 

“It’s great, but we are concerned about people not social distancing and not wearing their masks,” a woman at Chollas Lake Park said.

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