COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19


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Last Updated 8/4/2020


Parks & Recreation Response to COVID-19

Starting August 7, the City of Santa Cruz will be closing some facilities and canceling some programs for the fall 2020 season.

Due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parks and Recreation Department has seen a temporary reduction in staffing levels. The department is examining how best to deploy our existing resources given this reduction. We will be focusing our efforts on facilities and programs allowed to run under State guidelines.

Temporary closures and cancellations for the fall 2020 season currently include:

    • Athletics and leagues
    • Community events and special events scheduled for the Civic Auditorium
    • Lower DeLaveaga Park and George Washington Grove
    • Laurel Park

Park restrooms will be replaced by portable restrooms and handwashing stations at Grant Park, San Lorenzo Park, Frederick St. Park, Ocean View Park, Neary Lagoon, and Garfield Park.

The Civic Auditorium and Louden Nelson Community Center will also remain closed for public programs. The department is exploring possibilities to be repurposed to provide much-needed additional space for government activities, childcare, or homelessness response during the pandemic. Additionally, the San Lorenzo Park Benchlands will be closed to the general public but will continue to function as a managed encampment for individuals experiencing homelessness in partnership with Santa Cruz County.

 A full slate of online programming will continue to serve community members. The fall activity guide will be posted the week of August 10, and registration for classes begins August 17. Classes offered will primarily be virtual with a small number of in-person outdoor fitness classes for adults. For more information, visit

The situation is evolving and new cases are discovered daily which can heighten concerns. As part of our best practices, we are monitoring directions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health as well as local guidance from Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency

The County is aligned with California’s Stay-at-Home order, and economic, recreational and personal activities are governed by statewide guidance. Click on this Q & A for more information.

These cancellations and closures are being made out of deep concern for the health and safety of the community and consistent with guidance from public health officials. The recommendations advise individuals to limit outings, avoid large gatherings, telecommute if possible, stay home if they are sick, and avoid people who are sick.

The Parks & Recreation Administrative Office at 323 Church St will be closed to the public until further notice. Limited service will be offered via phone 831-420-5270 and email Online updates will continue to be available on our website.

The following includes more details on affected areas:

Parks & Facilities
Classes, Activities, Reservations & Events

Looking Forward

We recognize that the timing of this decision has inconvenienced many of you. However, this decision was made out of deep concern for the community. We will continue to monitor any new developments and will be responsive to the guidance and directives of the Santa Cruz County Public Health Agency and the CDC as they share new information.

We urge you to stay up to date by checking our website for any cancellations or concerns regarding our parks. For general information on COVID-19 please call 211, or text coronavirus to 211211, or visit for updates and links to state and federal guidance.

Ways to Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy From the Coronavirus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth or nose with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. The World Health Organization suggests maintaining at least 6 feet of space between yourself and an ill person, or someone who is coughing and sneezing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your arm when sneezing or coughing (also known as the vampire cough). Dispose of tissue after use.
  • Stay home and away from others if you or your family members are feeling ill.

As always, thank you for support and understanding. Please take care of yourself and stay healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions


Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • Are Parks & Recreation facilities programmed by other community groups still open?

  • Why has Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation cancelled all classes, programming and events?

  • Why has Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation closed facilities until further notice?

Credits and Refunds

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • I paid for an event permit or paid to reserve a park facility that falls within the closure period. Can I get a refund?

  • I paid to attend an event or class that has now been canceled. Can I get a credit or refund?

Parks & Open Spaces

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • Can I use outdoor park amenities like fields and picnic areas during the closure?

  • Does the Shelter in Place order affect other jurisdictions in Santa Cruz?

  • Will parks continue to be maintained?

  • Will parks and recreation public restrooms remain open?

  • Will parking lots and areas reopen?

  • What parks amenities are not open?

  • Are there beach restrictions?

  • How do I report violations?


Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • When will facilities, classes, programs reopen?

  • How do I report Park issues during the closure?

  • I would like to make a reservation for a date that is outside the closure period? Can I still do that?

  • Will Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation allow any essential programs and services, particularly for vulnerable populations, during the closure period?

Updated 8/4/2020