On the Closure of Acton's NARA Park to Walkers



This message was sent to the Acton Board of Selectmen and Board of Health on April 13, 2020.


Dear Board Members,

We at the Acton Republican Town Committee want to thank the Board of Health and Board of Selectman for working to keep our community safe during this serious COVID-19 outbreak. Many actions have been measured and well considered, and we appreciate that.

However, we feel it's our duty to voice concerns for those actions that may undermine town wellness and negatively impact the very residents you hope to safeguard.

Closing NARA

Our Committee, and the many residents we've engaged, strongly disagree with the decision to close NARA Park. Social distancing and face covering are effectively mitigating person-to-person transmission and are being observed by the overwhelming majority of Acton residents.

Closing public spaces because a small minority is not distancing, denies our community of the one positive diversion we have in these troubled times of home isolation. Taking air is a stress-reducing activity encouraged by health professionals, and NARA Park is a valuable resource our town relies upon for that purpose.

Reducing parking spaces to lower the number of residents in the park at any given time is a good crowd-control measure. But closing the park entirely to walkers is an unfortunate choice we hope you will reconsider.

Outdoor Spaces

We also want to caution this body against further action to close public spaces in general, like the Arboretum, Rail Trail and conservation lands, for the same reasons outlined above. They further serve to disperse pedestrian traffic on local streets, protecting public health and safety.

Finally, closing parks burdens our dedicated police professionals who have more pressing public safety matters to attend to than swatting walkers away from walking paths.

As the weather warms, closing outdoor spaces makes this trying time more difficult to manage for Acton residents already suffering the adverse effects of home confinement.

We hope you will take these concerns under consideration and minimize closures of Acton open spaces.

Respectfully,

Acton Republican Town Committee

actonrepubs@gmail.com If you would like more information about this statement, please contact Dave Lunger, Acton RTC Chair, at 781-775-9922/davelunger@verizon.net

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Comments

NARA park walkers

Couldn't the town find a "happy medium" by just requiring walking on paths at NARA park be one-way similar to what has been done at Walden Pond? Steve