A Southern California city dumped 37 tons of sand onto a skate park to prevent people from using it after skateboarders reportedly ignored coronavirus “no trespassing” signs.
San Clemente took the action after getting reports of people of all ages going in and out of the skate park after it, and all other city parks, were closed April 1.
The city researched what other towns with skate parks were doing to discourage use amid the coronavirus pandemic and found mixed results with options other than sand.
Some cities installed fencing, but there were continued problems with people cutting the locks or hopping the fences, according to the Orange County Register. There were some examples of cities hiring security guards, but that option was costly, the newspaper reported.
So the city poured more than three dozen tons of sand, which measures about 3 inches to 4 inches deep, to cover the concrete surfaces of the park.
It’s not the only skate park to use this method to keep trespassers away. South Windsor, Connecticut also covered its skate park with sand more than two weeks ago, according to NBC Connecticut.
San Clemente’s recreation manager, Samantha Wylie, told the Orange County Register that the sand placement didn’t cost the city anything, as they already had the sand in the city yard and maintenance workers dumped it into the bowls of the skate park. The workers can similarly remove the sand later when social-distancing restrictions are lifted.
Drains were covered before the sand was poured.
Officials from a nonprofit group that raised money to support the skate park said they were not notified of the decision to close the park with a deluge of sand, according to media reports. Supporters said skaters were being treated with a double-standard since such drastic action was taken at the skate park but not similar recreation areas such as tennis or basketball courts and walking paths.
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