By Bill Miranda
Santa Clarita Mayor
Santa Clarita is a place known for its immense track record of putting community before self and taking necessary steps to achieve common goals that serve all our interests. Another one of the many benefits of living in Santa Clarita is that the weather allows for residents to enjoy the great outdoors virtually every day of the year.
I hope that you and your family are taking advantage of this and remaining both safe and healthy as we move through the winter months. It is heartening to see so many residents enjoying the City’s parks, trails and open space areas on a daily basis, as recreation and exercise are crucial for maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing.
At the start of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the City was able to keep its parks and other amenities open to the public because residents were heeding health orders through physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings when out and about. Though we saw a surge in cases during cold and flu season as expected, we are now thankfully seeing a slight decline.
As more vaccine doses are made available, and the vaccination process is opened up to more residents, we are hopeful that we will see an even sharper decline. While we are on the right path, now is also the time to remain resolute and not stray from the actions and behaviors that have helped us make progress thus far.
This is why it is as important as ever for each and every one of us to do his or her part to slow the spread — and ultimately put an end to — this pandemic. Doing this starts with maintaining a safe distance from others and wearing a face covering while visiting a park, using a trail or hiking in the open space that surrounds our beautiful valley.
Current public health orders put in place by the state and county require that residents follow social distancing and face-covering guidelines for public amenities to remain open. In addition to wearing a face covering and avoiding gatherings, there are a few other tips you can follow to maximize safety and minimize exposure risk.
Bring activities with you to do as a family at the park and try to plan to visit during off-peak hours. This way, if another family is using the playground, for example, you will still have things to do to keep active while you wait.
You can also take part in the City’s 35 Parks Challenge (santa-clarita.com/CanDos). This allows you to discover every park in Santa Clarita so you know other places to visit should one park be too crowded.
Remember, taking the small step to wear a face covering and avoid gathering with people outside of your household not only protects yourself and those around you but it also helps accomplish a common goal. And in Santa Clarita, that’s what we are all about.
Mayor Bill Miranda is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.