City Fills Skate Park With Sand To Keep People Out During Stay-At-Home Order
San Clemente, CA – After skaters refused to abide by the stay-at-home order, and continued to use the city skate park, the city of San Clemente filled it up with 37 tons of sand.
San Clemente had shut down all its parks on April 1. However, skaters had ignored signs about trespassing at Ralphs Skate Court, according to KCBS.
City officials said they routinely saw people disregarding the stay-at-home order and going to the skatepark. Some parents even brought their children, according to the San Clemente Times.
“On April 1, we kind of let it play out to see if users would abide by the closure,” said Samantha Wylie, the city’s recreation manager for the Beaches, Parks and Recreation Department, according to the San Clemente Times. “During that (two-week period), we saw people continue to skate the park, groups would gather, kids with their parents; it became a regular (occurrence). It appeared the closure was not being abided by.”
Wylie said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was patrolling the area and had made several contacts with skaters and told them the skate park was closed.
The city made the choice to fill the park with sand on April 13.
“The sand was what other agencies were doing. We’re doing what other parks have done to enforce that message of social distancing,” Wylie said, according to the San Clemente Times.
Wylie said other cities have used mulch, hay or sand to fill in their skate parks.
“We did consider fencing. Fencing is really difficult to get right now, and we know we’ve done fencing at the skate park before, and it just gets hopped over,” Wylie said, according to the San Clemente Times “We also considered security, but there’s a cost to that. The sand, it cost us nothing to put it in, (and) it’ll cost us nothing to remove it. So that’s why we went with that decision.”
Footage from KCBS shows that the sand didn't deter skaters, who just cleared paths in the sand.