Re-Open ALL Las Cruces Parks

Re-Open ALL Las Cruces Parks

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Sarah Smith started this petition to Mayor of Las Cruces Ken Miyagashima and

Las Crucens should be granted immediate access to ALL City parks. Other municipalities in New Mexico did not close their parks as a response to COVID19. For instance, Albuquerque never closed their parks during this pandemic. 

Las Cruces parks have been closed for months. Now we are being told by Sonya Delgado (Director of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation) that only one park will open in each district beginning June 15, because “we cannot create opportunities to encourage others to gather in public spaces.” This is false logic.

The city’s plan to initially open only one park in each district is flawed. If the goal is to make sure large numbers of people are not congregating in parks, then opening just one park per district doesn’t make sense. With fewer parks open, there will likely be MORE people at those few parks that are open.  It would make more sense to open all of the parks to allow people to spread out amongst many parks instead of cramming into just a few. This policy is counterproductive and damaging.

It is much easier to practice social distancing in large outdoor spaces than in crowded stores. Recent science has shown that outdoor transmission of COVID19 is almost unheard of. Studies have shown that the vast majority of COVID19 transmission occurs indoors or on public transportation. Outdoor transmission is very rare, and is not considered to be a significant threat for COVID19 transmission.

The closure of Las Cruces parks goes against CDC guidelines, which say the following with regards to outdoor playgrounds: “Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas.” This is important: the CDC guidelines do NOT say to close the parks and playgrounds. They say to maintain your existing practices. Again, outdoor transmission is not a significant issue for COVID19.

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, nationwide more than 1,000 cities, park organizations, and public health organizations have signed a letter supporting outdoor recreation with appropriate safeguards during the pandemic.  The New Mexico Recreation and Park Association as well as the City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Department have signed this letter. It does not make sense to continue to restrict the community members of Las Cruces from using the parks.

We respectfully ask that we be restored immediate access to ALL parks in Las Cruces.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!