Mayor Joseph J. Solomon announced the phased reopening of Warwick’s parks this week in coordination with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) reopening of the state-run Rocky Point and Goddard Memorial State Parks in Warwick.
Barriers blocking parking lots at Rocky Point as well as City Park, Conimicut Point and the Oakland Beach seawall have been removed. A number of other city park parking lots including those at Salter Grove and Pawtuxet Village as well as those at playing fields such as Confreda, Winslow Park, the Gorton track and other locations remained closed. No information was available Wednesday as to plans for their reopening.
“I know many Warwick residents have been anxious for our City’s outdoor spaces to reopen, but I did not want Warwick to be a litmus test for how the rest of the state would fare as Rhode Island gradually opens its parks,” said Mayor Solomon said in a release. “This has been a balancing act: I want people to be able to enjoy our outdoor spaces, but I also need to make sure it’s safe to do so. With DEM opening Rocky Point and Goddard Memorial Parks today, now is the time to start reopening Warwick’s other parks.”
Boat launch sites are open where conditions allow. Beaches are closed to swimmers, and no lifeguards will be on duty. Public facilities, including rest rooms, will remain closed.
According to a release the remainder of Warwick’s parks will be opened in phases. In accordance with DEM guidelines, the future status of parks and the availability of facilities will be determined by whether visitors are following precautions outlined by the Rhode Island Department of Health and DEM. All visitors to Warwick parks must adhere to social distancing guidelines by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others and wearing a cloth face covering if within six feet of another person who is outside your household. Residents are also asked to avoid crowds. If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas.
DEM has been reopening state parks in a graduated manner by staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas, and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds.