View All Posts

Aug 31

Usage and safety reminders for field, park and outdoor recreation facilities

Posted on August 31, 2020 at 8:23 pm by Clay Curtin

As the City of Menlo Park continues to keep outdoor recreation facilities open, users of these outdoor spaces should still be mindful of health and safety precautions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and comply with state and county health orders. Menlo Park Local Order No. 7 from June 25 reopened the Skate Park, public tennis courts, public basketball courts and public park restrooms. Precautionary health and safety requirements, including guidance on mandatory face coverings and social distancing requirements, from both the state and county remain in effect at all city facilities, and where applicable, in public spaces.

Field usage of parks still ban group sport activities. Complaints have been received regarding several large groups and team sports usage of park fields and who are not following county and state health orders. A city-issued permit is required for use of Menlo Park fields by organized groups. All groups must have a permit before using a Menlo Park facility. All contact and competitive play are prohibited at this time. Groups must provide detailed written plans for complying with public health orders and guidelines and pay applicable user fees. For more information, see our field rental page.

Only members of the same household can share sporting equipment. As reiterated by the county and state health officers, coming into close contact with people who don't live with you increases your risk of being exposed to someone infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Many of these groups sports do not allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet from others, balls and equipment are being touched and not disinfected as well as players are not wearing face masks. As a result, community parking lot access will be closed in some outdoor facilities as needed to discourage organized team sports and large groups from using the community parks and encourage local residents to utilize these areas for household recreation.

There have also been complaints of walkers, joggers and bicyclist not maintaining a safe distance while in outdoor spaces. Health professionals advise that the space between walkers should be between 6 feet and even more distance between runners and cyclists. It’s also important that when overtaking another person when running or cycling you should take as wide a space as possible. Face coverings are recommended when engaging in these forms of exercise, while outdoors and are required when you are unable to adequately social distance.

Protecting public health and safety is a top priority of the city. We all must do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by taking a few simple steps: Follow public health guidelines, wash hands frequently, stay socially distant from others, and wear a face mask.

You can review San Mateo County’s health order generally requiring face coverings, California’s statewide guidelines for face coverings, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s best practices for wearing and cleaning face coverings.

For more information on actions and activities in Menlo Park, please visit You can also sign up to receive city news and notifications by visiting, and selecting "Menlo Park City News" or following the city social media channels.

Blog_Kelly Park (2)