City closing parts of 2 Kirkland parks to prevent large gatherings

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Frequent large gatherings have prompted Kirkland to close parts of two parks as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Washington.

The city said it will close the parking lot and pier at Houghton Beach Park and the pier at David Brink Park.

Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan limits group sizes to five people and masks are required in public spaces.

Early Wednesday, city staff will lock the parking lot and put fencing on the piers.

“We tried to avoid these closures through education efforts, mask distribution, signage, physical barriers and numerous warnings that closures would happen if these areas remained crowded,” said Parks and Community Services Director Lynn Zwaagstra. “We feel that these targeted closures are an unfortunate, but necessary measure to protect public safety during this pandemic.”

Access to the docks at both parks will be blocked.

Zwaagstra said if people continue to gather, the city will be forced to close all waterfront parks completely.