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Cobb chairman explains reasons, details of reopening county parks

Parts of the area will once again be accessible this weekend, for anyone wanting to get outside.

In a statement released earlier this week, Cobb County workers announced that some of the parks and trails will reopen to the public on Saturday, April 25. Cobb County Chairman Mike Boyce said this is being done to give people a sense of normalcy while still trying to flatten the curve.

“We're almost 6 weeks into this coronavirus pandemic, and we have a little bit better understanding of what we can do to mitigate the spread of it with social distancing and other measures,” Boyce said. “People have been locked up in the house for a long time, and you don't want to put them in a position where they will become civilly disobedient because we put restrictions on their lives that are absolutely unenforceable and unreasonable. At the government level, we try to find a balance.”

Trails include Silver Comet Trail, Noonday Creek Trial, and Bob Callen Trail. Only 14 of the county’s 60+ parks will reopen Saturday. The parks that are opening are considered passive parks, meaning they have no amenities like playgrounds or sports areas. Boyce said those who visit the parks and trails will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear masks. 

“Remember, the whole thing is focused on flattening the curve,” Boyce said. “If what we've done here doesn't have any impact and helps us to maintain our curve being flattened, then we can relax a few more. The intent is not to push our hospital capacity to its maximum level. We certainly don't want to get there. You want to experiment like everybody else is. Let's try this, let's see what happens, and then we will see what we can do next to try to reach some degree of normalcy, yet while underlying the virus is with us and it's going to be with us for the foreseeable future. Let's not do anything here that would jeopardize people's health or more seriously their lives.”

Parks reopening Saturday include Allatoona Creek Park, Camp McDonald, Ebenezer Downs Park, Furr Family Park, Green Meadows Preserve, Heritage Park, Hyde Farm, Kemp Family Park, Old Clarkdale Park, Price Park, Schmidt Park, Shoupade Park, Stout Park, and Trolley Line Park.

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