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‘Stir Crazy’ Miami-Dade Park-Goers, Boaters Enjoy Green Spaces and Water

400 extra parks workers on duty as Miami-Dade opens recreational sites for first time since coronavirus shutdown

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Alison Chisholm had been looking forward to her stroll, one that took her through a Miami-Dade park.

“Yea its nice. I’d rather go to the gym. It’s really hot outside, but its nice to be able to get out, go walking, get some fresh air. The days have been really nice,” Chisholm said Wednesday.

For park-goers like Chishold and for Miami-Dade boaters, Wednesday brought a return to paradise, with a lifting of restrictions on parks, golf courses, waterways and marinas in the county.

“Oh, excited to be able to finally get back out on the water. My husband is going stir crazy," Emilia Leth said. “It’s perfect, it's great. It's very organized.”

"Definitely feels good, it’s been about a little more than a month already in the house and it feels pretty hectic in the house without doing anything," said Liandy Romero. "I’m pretty happy that they are open now. We still gotta be careful, follow the procedures but we are going there.”

That's exactly what Miami-Dade Police and county workers were at the marinas to make sure happened.

"They need to be patient. When they come in, observe the ramp. The piers are only about five feet apart, so that’s where it's very important to practice social distancing. If somebody’s there stay in your car," Miami-Dade Police Marine Patrol Sgt. James Barrett said.

If you’re a boater, you can’t tie up with another vessel or congregate on the sand bars.

"Once you are on the boat, there are restrictions. Whether they are your friends, family on another boat, you cannot raft. There is a no-rafting rule. You have to maintain 50 feet away,” Barrett said.

Golfers hit the links but were required to stay apart. Miami-Dade posted a list of rules to residents not to have any group activities and to wear a mask unless you’re doing a strenuous workout.

"It’s going great. It’s going better than anticipated,” said Maria Nardi, the woman who runs Miami-Dade parks.

Nardi said she hired 400 extra people to keep watch at the county’s recreational sites. She said it was smooth sailing on Wednesday, but they're expecting a rush come Saturday.

"Everyone is following the protocol. They are using their masks and we expect this weekend to be a little more hectic," Nardi said. "We're prepared. What we would like to ask the community is to be familiar with the rules."

When it comes to those rules, there are nine pages of them posted on Miami-Dade County's website.

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