Park visits have increased during the pandemic

Both parks departments in Greater Lafayette say they have seen an increase in people using the local trails and playgrounds.

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 6:50 PM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Playgrounds, trails, and pools have become popular places to visit for people in the greater Lafayette community.

"The trails and the parks are getting used more and more," said Kathy Lozano the Superintendent of West Lafayette Parks and Recreation.

In West Lafayette, they have been able to track how much of an increase they have seen.

"We have trail counters on a couple of our trails and the usage of the trails is about double we've counted of people using them,” added Lozano.

Playgrounds in West Lafayette have an increase in visit too, especially at the Happy Hallow playground. The parks department is which is to track the usage daily.

"It sends us statistics comparing us to cities that are similar size and demographics and we have been in the 95 percentile and above for cities our size,” said Kath Lozano.

In Lafayette, they have noticed an increase in people using their parks as well.

"A lot of people are getting outdoors,” said Jon Miner the Director of Operation for the Lafayette Parks and Recreation Department. “Even at the time that the playgrounds were closed in Columbian park, a lot of people were walking through Columbian Park just to experience the parks."

With more visits has come more appreciation for the green spaces, both cities have to offer.

"We've gotten numerous comments and compliments and phone calls and emails thanking the parks department," added Miner.

"People understand how important parks are for a community," added Lozano.

Both Parks and Recreation Departments have been cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms and community shared areas more often. However, they have not been cleaning playground equipment. They recommend that parents bring hand sanitizer, and encourage their kids to wear a mask when playing if possible.  

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