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On Memorial Day weekend, crowd control a lingering concern in Georgia

The Department of Natural Resources released a list of parks that are already at capacity - some of them here in the metro area.

ROSWELL, Ga. — Parks and beaches were nearly at capacity across the state on Saturday.

The same day, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released a list of parks that were already at capacity - some of them here in the metro area.

Kicking off the holiday weekend, Todd Michals and his family chose to do it at Roswell's Riverside Park - like many others.

"We've been looking forward to coming down to the river," he said. "It's a gorgeous weekend."

People were out kayaking and tubing. And out there with them were Roswell Police officers ensuring everyone was following social distancing guidelines.

"Seems like everybody's a good distance and it's just a good chance to get outside and get some fresh air," Michals said.

Michals said his family knew to keep to themselves and away from other large groups.

"We've done this a couple of times in the past, so nothing's really changed to our procedure," he said. "But, again, I wouldn't necessarily go with a group of strangers floating down the river. But this is our family and it's a good chance for us to enjoy mother nature on this fine weekend."

And the DNR is on the same page.

"Our rangers need your help to reduce the spread of COVID-19," an agency spokesperson said in a recent Youtube video

Expecting large crowds over Memorial Day weekend, staff said they may temporarily limit access to ensure social distancing.

Admission could be limited for several hours at a time until capacity allows more people in.

The DNR said in a statement that: 

"The number is based on parking and other factors, so that would vary from park to park. When this happens, we post notices online so that visitors know in advance that gates may no longer be open by the time they arrive."

The DNR also suggested visiting lesser-known parks and parks closer to your home in an effort to help them make the parks safe. In their preparation video, a park ranger asks for one important trait among visitors: patience.

"These are unprecedented times and circumstances may not be ideal during your visit so we ask you to be courteous of other visitors and the rangers who are here to support you," she said.

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