Triangle playgrounds preparing to swing into next phase of easing restrictions

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
NC playgrounds preparing to swing into Phase 2.5
Municipalities across the Triangle are spending the days leading up to Friday prepping for a safe and healthy return to playgrounds.

Phase 2.5 is on its way which means playgrounds will reopen to the public.

"It means so much for us," said one mom at Lions Park in Raleigh. "Any park to be open. It would be so important for all the families."

Gov. Roy Cooper made the Phase 2.5 announcement Tuesday afternoon from the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. Effective Friday, Sept. 4 at 5:00 pm, North Carolina playgrounds will once again be open to the public after months of being closed during the pandemic.

WATCH: Cooper announces easing restrictions for Phase 2.5

"I'm going to run and jog and play with my friends," said the woman's son.

Municipalities across the Triangle are spending the days leading up to Friday prepping for a safe and healthy return to playgrounds.

The City of Raleigh plans to make an announcement on Thursday for what residents can expect prior to Friday. In the interim, crews are assessing all of the City's 72 playgrounds to find out what needs to be done prior to Friday.

A City official told ABC11, "We cannot guarantee the surfaces have been or will be disinfected at all times. We encourage the public to use hand sanitizers and wipes before and after playing on playgrounds. Our playgrounds are being cleaned on a regular maintenance schedule."

Playgrounds operated by Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space will reopen Saturday morning including Blue Jay Point, Crowder, Green Hills, Harris Lake and Lake Crabtree county parks.

Like its neighbors, the Town of Wake Forest plans to clean all playgrounds prior to opening. Equipment inspections continued monthly during the shut-down.

A similar scene in Durham both Wednesday and Thursday with Parks & Rec staff sanitizing equipment across all 56 of the city's playgrounds. After sanitizing, staff then uses a pressure washer to complete the job.

"We're very excited. We have been working on the parks, keeping them mowed, keeping them clean," said Robert Jennings, parks and rec superintendent for Durham. "We're very excited about playgrounds. Not only for the staff, but primarily for the kids."

Across the region, Knightdale's Public Works staff will also be sanitizing and inspecting playground equipment on Thursday. Bathrooms at all of the town's parks will be open from 7 am to 7 pm. The Town is urging residents to maintain social distancing, wear a mask or face covering, and wash and/or sanitize your hands for safety.