Miami Parks have been playing a new role recently: helping residents find an escape during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patrick, a basketball player at Morningside Park, explains how he comes to the park to clear his mind and relieve stress. “When I’m playing ball, I just feel free,” he says.
Guilherme Cunha, a tennis instructor at the park, said his sport is more than safe to play during the pandemic. Tennis, he contends, should never have been shut down. Courts are like small grocery stores in size, but there are only two players rather than hundreds of shoppers.
Guidelines for parks include wearing masks at all times except when partaking in rigorous activity, social-distancing of at least six feet, no group gatherings of more than 10 people, limiting basketball to three-on-three, and playing only singles. It is also recommended for visitors to limit their visit to no more than two hours.
Are the rules enforced? Luis Rojas, an employee at Morningside Park, explains that most park visitors have no problem following the rules. Some are less cooperative.
Delven Patterson Jr., a park manager at Morningside and Legion parks, feels his employees work hard to keep each other as well as park visitors safe.