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Charlotte County begins safely reopening, starting with select park amenities

Playgrounds and athletic courts are still off-limits, but now, people can take advantage of dog parks and open sports fields.

“As soon as the rain stopped we were on the way,” said Rick Sarkisian of Punta Gorda, with his 4-month old puppy named Gator. “Gator has been in the yard, but today, he had an opportunity to come out and socialize,” for the first time.

4-year-old dogs Heidi, Brady, and Chloe also got out for some playtime at Charlotte Harbor’s Edgewater dog park with their owner Jack Sullivan.

“They like to run but they’re not able to run free where I live in North port,” he explained.

The parks are open for general use only. Leagues and rentals are not allowed and all other park amenities will remain closed.

Friday is the first day dog parks and sports fields are back open in Charlotte County and locals were taking advantage of the fresh air say they are doing so safely.

Sarkisian said, “There were only about four people in there. We stayed quite a bit apart and I just felt 100% safe.”

Some support the county in closing the parks again if people don’t practice social distancing.

Sullivan said safety should be a priority, “If there’s an increase, yeah they should probably do that. Just to be safe,” encouraging all four-legged friends and their owners to enjoy mother nature safely.

According to Charlotte County Parks and Rec., baseball, softball, soccer, and football fields will reopen. No organized activities will be permitted and county facilities will remain closed.

They advise to “Please follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing. Gatherings of 10 or more are not permitted under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order.”

The process to slowly reopen Southwest Florida continues Monday with beaches opening in Charlotte County.

Sports fields will open without organized activities:
-Football
-Softball
-Baseball
-Soccer

Athletic courts will remain closed:
-Pickleball
-Tennis
-Basketball
-Rec centers

 

Reporter:Erika Jackson
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