The Logan Skate Park reopened Friday since its closure in mid-March due the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released late Friday morning, city officials asked skateboarders to practice a minimum social distancing of 6 feet, proper hygiene and use of hand sanitizer. Additionally, water fountains near the park are not functioning, so bringing water is encouraged.
Playgrounds, pavilions and other sports recreation facilities are still closed, according to Logan City Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina.
“We don’t really have a clear date yet as to when those might reopen,” Akina said. “We’re currently looking at our ball fields right now based on the new guideline updates we have received.”
Akina said the reopening of the skate park as opposed to other recreational facilities are largely because skateboarding can be a more individual activity. Many facilities for sports involving teams, close contact or shared equipment (a baseball or a basketball, for example) are still being closed for now.
“This is what’s kind of unique about the skate park, and the bike park as well,” Akina said, “They typically are not team oriented, contact-sport activities.”
Particularly for the skate park, Akina said a lack of proper social distancing — highlighted by concerned citizens — caused the closure. He said several indisputable photos and videos of gatherings at the skate park were submitted.
“We felt in the beginning that (the skate park) could stay open and it would be fine,” Akina said. “It didn’t help matters for people to congregate, because even that right now, as far as mass gathers or congregating in public spaces, is not allowed.”
Akina said there was pushback when the skate park closed. There were reports of people skating at the park despite the closure, Akina said, but the Parks and Recreation Department did not want to physically change access to the park like other cities have done since the pandemic. The city of San Clemente in California reportedly filled a local skate park with 37 tons of sand.
“You know, we feel bad for them because this is their recreation outlet,” Akina said. “We got some pushback, but I understand.”
Akina said he’s heard many Cache Valley citizens express understanding and appreciation for recreation facilities during the pandemic.
“I think it has great value,” Akina said. “I think it’s really important to people.”