FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Broward has taken its first step in what is expected to be a long process of reopening the county.
Wednesday morning a number of parks, boat ramps, and other recreational facilities were reopened.
Click Here for a list of parks open in Broward.
At T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park in Hollywood, there was a line waiting to get in.
“I miss it so much, so much. This is like my soul is back,” said Estrella Roosevelt with a laugh.
The re-openings, however, comes with restrictions.
The parks and trails are for walking, jogging, biking, hiking, horseback riding, and personal boat launching. Social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people is not allowed.
Picnics, organized athletic games, and pickup games are not permitted. Individual basketball play is allowed.
While playgrounds and play areas are closed, there are plenty of activities to keep people occupied and grateful.
“I had to get out of the house, maintain social distancing and just get some fresh air,” said Benjamin Arnold.
While in the public spaces, everyone must wear a face cover, no organized sports are allowed, and social distancing is required.
“You can’t see it but I’m actually smiling right now,” said another masked woman at TY Park as she went for a stroll.
T.Y. Park regulars, Marcy and Diana, used to walk it together every morning. They’re now grateful to get back to their routine, even if they can’t walk close together.
“It’s really like a little bit of mental health because we’ve been walking not together for a while now. So when we get to walk together, blah, blah, blah. It feels great,” said Marcy.
When you’re using the trails, all traffic is one way. Also, the playgrounds for kids are still closed, so are park pavilions and the exercise equipment is off limits.
“I’m exercising, trying to lose some weight. Trying to lose some weight,” said Anthony Williams.
Williams said he could do without the gym equipment and use the walking trail instead. He’s just looking forward to seeing the small steps in getting back to normal.
“I’m ready to go back to work because I’m tired of sleeping. I done gained 18 pounds. It’s time to go back to work,” he said.
Parks and natural areas will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. while nature center grounds and neighborhood parks will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There limited access to restrooms and water fountains.
Fishing is allowed as long as people stay 10 feet apart.
Singles tennis and disc golf, as long as CDC guidelines are followed, are also allowed.
At Markham Park in Sunrise, the gun range is closed and mountain biking will be open to current passholders only.
The parks’ regular weekend and holiday gate fees are temporarily suspended.
Bob Gore and his friends are excited they can golf again. New rules allow only one person per cart. He said he’s been cooped up way too long.
“I call it the palm tree prison. You can do anything you want to but you can’t leave, go anywhere. Now we can. So I think we have an early release today,” he said.
A number of recreational facilities and activities remain closed including batting cages, boat rentals, campgrounds, dog parks, indoor gyms, marinas, and water parks and water playgrounds.
At boat ramps, only one boat will be allowed on the ramp at a time. Boats are not be allowed to tie up together or anchor on sandbars. Depending on the size of the boat, there on limits to how many people can be on board.
“I think people are just itching to get out, go fishing or pleasure boating,” said Pete Milan.
Steven Lunn said he’s getting some great bonding time with his daughter Sophia.
“We played hookie today. We decided to go out and take advantage of the water being open today,” he said.
The City of Fort Lauderdale also reopened certain parks, marinas, boat ramps, and a golf course on Wednesday.
Click here for the list of Fort Lauderdale parks, boat ramps and other amenities open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
All Broward beaches remain closed as is Hollywood’s Broadwalk.
Some parks, like C.B. Smith in Pembroke Pines, Central Boward Park in Lauderhill, and Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, have not reopened because they are being used for COVID testing.
It should be noted the state parks and national parks remain closed.
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