Happy Valley Park & COVID-19
COVID-19 Happy Valley Park Update
Following updates to the Governor’s orders related to outdoor recreation, the City of Happy Valley’s playgrounds at Happy Valley Park will reopen. The All Abilities Park and adjoining play area are ready for use as of today, however the playgrounds closer to the main Park entrance will reopen effective tomorrow, Thursday, September 10, 2020 by noon. The fencing surrounding the play structures will remain up and entrances will be created to allow visitors access. Those utilizing these areas within the Park are asked to maintain physical distancing and follow the posted signs related to maximum occupants. Playgrounds will specifically be limited to ten (10) persons at a time. The City is also encouraging visitors to be diligent about washing their hands or using hand sanitizer as an additional precaution.
The City will continue to follow the Governor’s orders and will be watching closely for any updates to recreation as new information arises. Park staff will be reminding visitors of playground rules as needed, but the City is hopeful the public will comply as the City’s ability to respond to every violation will not be feasible. While the City is very much looking forward to reopening all Park amenities, it is first and foremost committed to ensuring the safety of residents, visitors, and staff as it makes a concerted effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The City asks that anyone who utilizes the Park please support in this collaborative effort by following Park rules and cooperating with these temporary orders so everyone can enjoy this beloved community space.
- All Happy Valley parks and trails
- Community garden – open to plot holders only
- Playgrounds -limited to 10 persons at a time
- Tennis courts – singles play only
- Skate park – limit of 10 at a time
- Fields for family and small group use
- Sports fields for permitted organized groups
- Dog parks – limited to 5 persons per section at a time
As a reminder, per Executive Order of the Governor of Oregon, face coverings are required to be worn outdoors when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained.
CLOSED for Now:
- Outdoor equipment
- Picnic shelters
- Basketball courts
- Splash pad
- Drinking fountains
- No vendors will be permitted in any area of the Park
Temporary Rules for Use of Tennis Courts
Maintain six-foot distancing from others at all times.
Don’t congregate on courts, in common areas, or parking lots.
Limit or stagger playing groups.
Play singles only – doubles play with household members only.
Clean and sanitize paddles, rackets and water bottles.
Do not share equipment.
Fencing installed at skate park and playgrounds
In efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, the City has taken some additional precautions at Happy Valley Park. This week, temporary fencing was installed around the perimeter of the skate park in efforts to create a designated space for those actively using the facility. Please note that only five (5) persons maximum are permitted within the skate park enclosure at any given time. All participants using the skate park are also reminded to wear helmets, per the Park’s official rules and regulations. Those found in violation of any of these rules may be asked to leave or issued a civil citation.
Fencing has also been installed around the mesh barricades surrounding playgrounds and exercise stations. In accordance with Executive Orders issued by the Governor, playgrounds were directed to close in May 2020 and currently will remain closed until Clackamas County reaches Phase II. Once playgrounds are permitted to reopen by Order of the Governor, the City will remove all fencing in these areas. In the meantime, those found in violation of this Order may be cited for trespassing.
While these additional provisions may be met with criticism, please know the City is attempting to do its part to slow the spread of the virus while also meeting the expectations set forth by the Governor. Less intrusive measures attempted by the City unfortunately have not been successful as evidenced by continued destruction of previously utilized barricades and signage. The City’s Public Safety Team has also been responding daily to numerous violations, many of which originate from Park visitors who live in the greater Portland Metro area. This has been frustrating as it is the City’s intent to keep the Park open to the extent permitted, so that residents and visitors alike can utilize it.
The City is asking all park goers to please assist in following the rules and help keep these recreational spaces open as much as possible. Destruction of fencing and signs are costly to the City and require staff time to replace. The City very much understands the community’s frustration with some Park amenities being unavailable for use, however it is the City’s responsibility to ensure community safety and follow Executive Orders. The City is continuing to evaluate the safety of all areas within the Park and is committed to reassessing needs in conjunction with new information issued by the Governor. The City will continue to keep the community updated as to any further changes at Happy Valley Park.
The cancellation of our traditional 4th of July Family Festival and Fireworks Show is a huge disappointment for us, but the safety and health of our community are our main priorities. As reported by Oregon Health Authority, COVID-19 cases are surging throughout Oregon and the virus is continuing to spread. To this end, we have made the difficult decision to close the main gates of Happy Valley Park on Saturday, July 4. The goal in doing this is to curb large groups of full-day visitors, especially those who do not reside in Happy Valley. The Park’s trails and fields will still be accessible, but parking lots and restrooms will remain closed for the duration of the holiday in efforts to encourage everyone to stay closer to home. Security will be onsite to monitor the Park’s general safety.
2020 will mark the first time in nearly 20 years that the City of Happy Valley will not hold its traditional festival, and nearly 50 years since the annual fireworks show will not be displayed. Like many of you, we too are experiencing a sense of loss in the cancellation of our beloved event, but we are very much looking forward to celebrating with the community next year and are excited about the opportunities next summer will bring.
The City will be opening Happy Valley Park’s baseball and soccer fields to youth sports organizations for scheduled use. Activities will be limited to drills and general practice, and groups are limited to 10 persons. Sports organization representatives will have an official permit noting the reservation time for specific fields. The baseball and soccer fields continue to remain open to residents and the general public during all other Park hours. The City is working with organizers of the sports groups to ensure use of the fields are contained to scheduled permit times and social distancing expectations are communicated to coaches and participants.
The City of Happy Valley has made the critical decision to temporarily update the rules at Happy Valley Park amid the quickly evolving COVID-19 situation. While being outside, exercising, and burning energy is certainly important for everyone during this time, we believe we have a responsibility to create some explicit parameters that will better allow for the recommended social distancing practices to be carried out. Remember Temporary Rules for Park Use Due to the COVID-19.
The public health emergency and in compliance with direction from the state of Oregon the following temporary rules are in effect:
- Maintain Physical Distance: Keep 6 feet of distance between your group and other visitors.
- Follow State Rules for Group Size: Groups are limited to 25 people.
- Be Healthy: If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, stay home. These are symptoms of COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider.
All Park trails, walking paths, and boardwalk to remain open.
Restrooms will continue to be cleaned twice per day (AM/PM).
The City is taking these precautions in efforts to help curb the spread of this virus and better encourage social distancing in this popular communal space. To help enforce these rules, the City’s public safety team will be monitoring the Park’s activity during open park hours each day. There will also be plenty of signs at each area mentioned above to help alert and remind park goers of these rules. Again, the City will continue to monitor and evaluate park protocols on an ongoing basis.