Park board considers closing Minneapolis parks if better social distancing practices aren’t used

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The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is considering closing down the city’s parks if people don’t use better social distancing practices.

Officials posted the message online.

"Outdoor recreation opportunities are important for people of all ages during this stressful time," said Al Bangoura, Superintendent of the MPRB. "But we need people to take the Governor’s orders and social distancing seriously. Everyone needs to do their part to protect others and protect themselves. We are aware of park closures in other states and would hate to have it come to that in Minneapolis."

Hundreds of signs are now posted around parks in Minneapolis reminding people to stay safe and practice social distancing. The MPRB said it has been flooded with reports of crowded popular park locations. People are gathering in large groups, playing sports like basketball, soccer and football.

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Walkers said they hope those disobeying the rules don’t end up ruining it for them.

"Getting outside and clearing your head is really important for people. I think it’s not even important for college students, but for elderly people, stay-at-home moms. It is really refreshing," Cami Lund said.

"I get it why this is a concern just because people are standing so close to each other and it is really scary," Maddie Dorsey said. "But I mean, we are all stuck inside. It’s not good for our mental health."

Officials are encouraging everyone to use their local neighborhood parks and avoid the busiest ones in the city.