Albemarle County parks add signs & ambassadors to keep people safe during COVID-19

Darden Towe Park
Updated: Apr. 30, 2020 at 9:52 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Albemarle County wants to make sure its parks can stay open for people to enjoy the outdoors, but they need to be safe while doing it. That’s where new park ambassadors step in, plus visitors will see new signage with important reminders.

The county has added 14 park ambassadors to seven of their parks on the weekends. They will be wearing a green vest to help educate and keep people safe during COVID-19. The Incident Management Team recommended the park ambassador program.

"In order to keep our parks open, we needed to one find a way to educate the public,” Facilities Maintenance Supervisor Jim Barbour said.

Ambassadors not only educate, but also observe, report, and document what is happening throughout the parks.

“Groups of 10 or larger they report that, educate you not to that. They report their findings to me and then I’ll report to our incident management team," Barbour said.

Signs have also added signs reminding people to do their part. Others show which amenities are temporarily shut down.

“Restrooms, shelters, playgrounds, we can’t allow people to use those high touch areas,” Barbour said.

Fortunately, the open parks still allow hiking, biking, boating, and fishing - which people are doing a lot more since quarantine.

“An average week in our parks, we average 30,000 plus folks at all of our parks. We also do daily vehicle counts,” Barbour said.

Two ambassadors will be on duty at each park during peak times on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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