After closing a number of its locations and services due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the East Bay Regional Park District has announced that it will be reopening several parks to a limited number of visitors, including Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore.
Starting on Oct. 2, limited day use, camping and boating will return to Del Valle, as well as Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area in Fremont and Anthony Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley, according to EBRPD officials.
"The Park District Board and staff have worked hard to keep parks and trails open throughout the district as much as possible during COVID-19," General Manager Robert Doyle said in a statement. "Regional Parks have played an essential role in the community as a place for people to maintain their mental and physical health when most people have been in their homes the majority of the day."
With most residents being confined to their homes for extended periods of time due to the pandemic, keeping outdoor areas open in as safe a manner as possible has been a top priority for parks officials.
While some areas have been forced to close due to safety concerns, parks officials say that 99% of the district's 130,000 acres of parklands, 55 miles of shoreline and 1,300 miles of recreational trails have been open and accessible to the public -- with additional safety practices in place.
In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, reopened park areas and facilities operate on a limited capacity that for the most part welcomes visitors on a first-come, first-served basis -- although camping spaces will be open by reservation only.
No swimming is allowed at any district swim site (with the exception of Crown Beach and Keller Beach) and all picnic areas, barbecues and group campsites will remain closed, in accordance with state and local health orders.
The Del Valle campgrounds will be open to visitors at 50% capacity; however, campers are reminded that a Cal Fire burn ban is in effect due to extreme fire conditions. No open fires, campfires, wood-burning or charcoal barbecues are allowed, but gas or propane-fueled stoves are permitted.
There is also no shower service available at Del Valle due to renovation of the park's 60-year-old water system.
Camping reservations can be made online at www.ebparks.org/Register or by phone at 1-888-327-2757.
Pleasanton residents are also free to visit Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, which is open for walk-ins; however, boating and swimming is still prohibited due to local and state health orders related to the coronavirus.
Round Valley, Morgan Territory, Ohlone Wilderness and Sunol Regional Wilderness remain closed due to the impacts from recent wildfires. Ohlone Wilderness Trail at Del Valle likewise remains closed due to fire danger.
Additionally, like all public lands in the state, all visitors must continue to follow all social distancing guidelines from local health agencies, wear a mask or face covering in parks and wear it when within six feet of other park guests, officials said.
For up-to-date information on park status during COVID-19, residents can visit www.ebparks.org/COVID-19.