English Translation - April 3

April 3, 2020

Mayor’s Video, April 3, 2020 - Parks

People of Holland, I’m your Mayor, Nathan Bocks

We have been living under the Governor’s Stay Home Stay Safe Order for almost two weeks  and we are all feeling the affects of cabin fever.

For many of us, this coming week was supposed to be Spring Break. 

It is starting to feel like Spring.  We are getting sunshine, we are getting warmer weather.  We are itching to get outside.

So go outside.  Feel the sun on your face.  Breathe in the warm Spring Air.  It is good for your physical and mental well being. 

We know that access to nature through parks and green spaces offers important physical and mental health benefits.

But not everyone has access to green space at home. Our public parks matter more now than ever.

But keeping our parks and green spaces open and accessible relies on everyone following the rules.  Remember, even outside, social distancing rules apply.

For the health and safety of your friends and neighbors, and also for yourself, you MUST abide by the social distancing guidelines.  You MUST stay at least 6 feet away from ANYONE who is not living with you in your household.  

Following public health guidance and practicing social distancing is so important because we want these spaces to stay open where ever possible.  We can’t do that without your help.

Holland, you have been doing well.

But after monitoring park usage, and following a recent statement from the National Recreation and Park Association, we decided to make some adjustments earlier this week.

We are keeping parks and green spaces open, but we have temporarily closed playgrounds and play structures to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.  This includes the closing of the skate park.  

Our basketball, tennis and Pickleball courts remain open.  It is possible to use those courts safely under the Governor’s Order.  Members of the same household can play basketball or tennis or Pickleball together.  But do not share a court or a ball with anyone outside of your household and always follow social distancing guidelines.

We have posted signs and are physically preventing access where we can.  But we cannot do this without your cooperation.  The best thing you can do to support each other, city staff, and our first responders is to follow the rules.

Research tells us that people need to hear something seven times before they  consider taking action.  So I’m going to keep repeating it and we have posted signs.  But we need your help.  We need you to tell your friends and neighbors.  We need you to spread the word.  We need you to repeat the message:  Do not congregate. Follow social distancing rules.  It is the best way to keep all of us safe and healthy.

We will continue to monitor parks and make additional adjustments if necessary.

As the weather continues to warm, you may be inclined to bend the rules.  Don’t. Stay strong.  Stay Vigilant.  We will stay healthy and get through this by standing together, but six feet apart.

Before we know it, this will be over and we will be able to play pick up basketball and soccer together again.  But we are not there yet.

Until that day comes,

Stay safe.  Stay healthy.  And wash your hands.  ...Again.

This is Holland.  And we get to live here.