Denison playgrounds closed, parks and trails stay open

DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - With people encouraged to stay home, and schools and public places closed, there's not much for kids to do besides play outside.

Many local parks remain open, but some playgrounds are blocked off.

"Ready for it to be back to normal," said parent Stephanie Davila.

As most of us are.

But to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the city of Denison is closing playgrounds like the one at Texoma Health Foundation Park.

It's frustrating news for Stephanie Davila, who home schools her kids.

"We tried to come to the playground yesterday and it was hard explaining to my 5-year-old why she couldn't get on the slide because of the barriers, the orange barriers they have on there," Davila said.

A couple people told News 12 they noticed large gatherings over the weekend at Lake Texoma campgrounds and some public parks.

Many public parks around the country are staying open.

But for now, federal, state and local governments recommend only gathering in groups of 10 or less until the pandemic subsides.

"If you're going to play, we still recommend the distancing between individuals of six feet," said Denison Parks and Recreation Director Justin Eastwood.

But for many families cooped up with kids inside the house, going outside is the only option to catch a break.

"It's healthy for them to be outdoors, you know it's healthy for adults too," Davila said.

Eastwood said they're following guidelines from the National Parks and Recreation Department.

"We've really got to be as responsible as possible and follow the CDC guidelines," Eastwood said.

Open spaces and trails at public parks are open, just not the play areas.

So Davila is still taking her kids.

"For the ones that want to stay indoors, they can stay indoors. But there's other people that still want to be outdoors and interact with people," Davila said.