After looking forward to this week’s opening of recreational activities at East Park Reservoir – the lifeblood for the small business community in the western foothills of Colusa County – officials have decided to keep it closed, at least through the remainder of April.
Public Works Director Mike Azevedo said the decision was made in an abundance of caution over the spread of COVID-19, and will keep the park closed at least until April 30, which is consistent with recommendations from state and federal leaders.
People that have reserved their camping places for April will be notified and be given a coupon to use at a later date, officials said.
Colusa County officials now hope the park will open for the summer on May 1, although visitors may still need to take active precautions to avoid spreading the virus.
The decision to keep the park closed through April was not an easy one for Azevedo, who said in a statement on the park’s social media page that East Park is a haven to outdoor enthusiasts.
Park visitors also support the local stores, as summer trade is a large part of their annual revenue.
Despite the current shelter in place orders, local, state, and federal health officials still say getting some outdoor exercise daily, particularly walking and hiking, is important to relieve the stress that has built up because of the health crisis.
Originally, Azevedo was hopeful that the park would open on schedule and that the area was large enough to practice social distancing as instructed by the state. “We believe that (East Park) is a critical outlet for folks to utilize to relive some of stress we are already feeling,” Azevedo said.
County officials are still hopeful the park will be allowed to open in May, although visitors may still need to take active precautions by maintaining a safe distance from other people, avoid physical contact with others, take their own water and soap, or use hand sanitizer, avoid congregating with others, and especially stay home if you are sick.
The Stonyford Rodeo, typically held the first weekend in May, has also been postponed because of concern the virus may still be active.
County officials recognize that conditions and recommendations about COVID-19 can change rapidly, so they advise people to visit East Park Reservoir on Facebook or visitcolusacounty.com for updates before they head up the hill for relaxation and recreation. ■