Kirkland Parks & Community Services - Council Makes Decisions on Summer Parks Activities and Facilities

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Parks and Community Title

Council Makes Decisions on Summer Parks Activities and Facilities

Waverly Beach Park Lifeguard Chair

Since the moment we became aware of COVID-19’s presence in Kirkland, the City Council has been focused first and foremost on the safety of our community members and staff. We know that we have all made tremendous sacrifices to protect the health of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. We’ve been reminded recently that surviving a pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. We all must prepare ourselves for the arduous road to recovery. Kirklanders are not the type to stop halfway. We are innovators and entrepreneurs, and most importantly, we are people that care about others and about our community.

During our recent May 19 meeting the City Council had to make difficult decisions regarding reopening parks facilities and summer programming. Thankfully we have found a path to allow some of our beloved activities to continue this summer. Farmers’ Markets will not look like they have in the past, but they will be open. Organized athletics will be able to start in Phase 3. Unfortunately, other activities such as summer festivals and our City pools will not be available this summer. Like the rest of the world, we are striving to find the balance between our community’s need for social and physical activity, community concerns, human service needs, and public health and safety requirements to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

We are grateful for everyone who took the time to send in comments about the proposed plan for this summer. We want to assure you that we read every comment, and we take very seriously all the input that we received.

The decisions that were made by the Council evaluated potential summer programs, facility and field rentals and events against guiding criteria, including: protecting community and employee health and safety; community needs during the pandemic; new financial challenges faced by the City from the pandemic; staff capacity to support programs and services; and creating certainty for families, organizations and vendors to plan.

All elements of the reopening will be guided by the industry standards laid out in Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” guidance. The development of this guidance is ongoing and is subject to change determined by public health data. There are still some items under evaluation, such as whether we’ll be able to provide lifeguards at swim beaches this summer. 

All refunds for cancelled summer programs will begin to be processed on Tuesday, May 26. Community members do not have to take any action to receive a refund.

The following is a summary of the plan for parks programming and facilities that was approved by the City Council for this summer:

Supporting Community Needs

As part of the proposal some City recreation staff and Green Kirkland Partnership staff will be reallocated to serve as parks ambassadors and to support ongoing or emerging parks monitoring and human service needs during all “Safe Start” phases this summer. This increased monitoring will begin immediately.

Parks and Community Services staff may offer virtual programming free of charge during the summer, including online instructional programs, art and science events, and virtual community-building social, cultural and athletic events.

“Safe Start” Phase 1

Parks, trails, beachfront parks, dog parks, docks and piers, Marina Park moorage, boat launches, the Marina Park restroom and the cemetery are currently open. The Wednesday and Friday Markets will be opening in early June. The Wednesday Market will be set up as a walk-thru with controlled entry and exit to regulate crowd size, and the Juanita Beach Friday Market will be a drive-thru market. These decisions comply with Phase 1 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan.  All open parks and facilities will remain open throughout the summer consistent with Phase 1 guidelines.

“Safe Start” Phase 2

When Phase 2 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan is authorized, Parks & Community Services will reopen all public park restrooms, picnic shelters, tennis and pickleball courts, the waterfront trails, and may allow park vendors to operate in City parks.

“Safe Start” Phase 3

When Phase 3 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan is authorized, Parks and Community Services will reopen all park playgrounds, park pavilions, sports courts for basketball and volleyball, and athletic fields. Athletic field use by organized sports leagues and programs will also be allowed during this phase. Any organization renting field space will be required to submit a plan detailing how they will keep players, coaches, support staff and spectators safe during field use. Organizations will also be required to sign indemnification contracts with the City. Failure to implement approved plans will result in the termination of rental agreements. Staff may also offer “Pop-up” programming in the parks.

Summer Facility Closures and Program Cancellations Through September 1, 2020

  • The Peter Kirk Pool shall be closed for the summer season.
  • The North Kirkland Community Center and the Peter Kirk Community Center shall be closed for public use through September 1, 2020 except to provide selected senior services and support for human service needs.
  • All public, private and non-profit special events that use City facilities and infrastructure are cancelled through September 1, 2020. Special events may be rescheduled after September 1 if authorized by the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan.
  • Green Kirkland Partnership restoration events are suspended until September 1, 2020.
  • All current parks recreational programming is cancelled through September 1, 2020 to allow City recreation staff to prepare for COVID-19 modified programming after September 1.

We know that this summer will be different than any we’ve experienced in 100 years. We wish that this wasn’t our reality. Like you, we will miss organized athletics, graduations, summer celebrations, the 4th of July parade and fireworks, neighborhood parties and barbeques, and musical entertainment at the Farmers’ market. Thank you so much for making these sacrifices to protect the health of others. Things may never return to how they were, but together we will find a path to a new normal where we thrive together. Please continue to support each other by staying together while staying apart.

Please visit for the most up to date information on Park Amenity openings, future virtual programming opportunities, access to important documents and more.  This page will continue to be updated as information is available.

We look forward to serving you again through our virtual online programming and future Fall programming!

Thank you,

-Kirkland Parks & Community Services
(425) 587-3330