By all accounts the summer of 2020 will be a dry one, with city water parks and regional attractions like Water World remaining closed for the season. Fortunately, Lakewood’s Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park is offering an active way to enjoy the water.
On May 30 the park, 15600 Morrison Road, reopened to offer on-lake approved paddle craft including paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, windsurfing, belly boats and rafts. The swim beach, marina and other shore areas are to remain closed to swimming and shoreline activities until further notice.
“We feel that we have implemented a plan that will allow many park users to get out and enjoy their favorite activities while remaining as safe as a possible,” wrote Drew Sprafke, Regional Park supervisor, in an email interview. “We are hopeful that users will be happy with this opportunity and will realize that following the rules will help protect everyone while keeping access to this amenity available.”
According to provided information, access to the lake will be clearly signed with activities that will not be allowed, including swimming, picnicking, sunbathing, wading and similar shore activities. Paddle craft users will be allowed to launch and load only, without congregating on the shoreline.
“We evaluated multiple options for reopening to determine what would provide quality recreational access while also addressing public health concerns. We determined that preventing shoreline use and gathering was the single most important safety step we could implement,” Sprafke said. “At the same time, the City has developed signage to remind everyone of safe social distancing practices and a sign package to clearly communicate the rules that will be in place when the lake opens.”
As the park reopens, rangers will patrol first to educate, but then place more of a focus on enforcement as needed. Sprafke said violators will be subject to a citation.
The lake’s swim beach and all associated activities were closed to visitors on May 9 in response to overcrowding and mandates from Colorado and Jefferson County Public Health, and Sprafke said allowing those uses to return will be reevaluated on June 30.
“At this time, we do not feel that there is a safe way to do so (allow swimming and other related activities) under current public health guidelines. The main concern continues to be the crowding that we know will happen, and the resulting inability to maintain safe social distancing,” he explained. “We will continue to reevaluate all closures and restrictions each month as new public health guidance is released from the State and County.”
Sprafke emphasized the important of all park visitors paying close attention to the rules, as not doing so could cause amenity usage to be reclosed.
“All park users need to realize that our parks are very busy. We need everyone to have patience with other users and follow public health guidelines,” he said. “These simple steps help to ensure that everyone can enjoy the parks safely.”
Bear Creek Lake Park remains open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but other park amenity closures remain. For more details on park activities and restrictions, call 303-697-6159 or visit Lakewood.org/BCLP.
Visit a virtual arts fair
An arts fair is a great way to meet some fascinating up-and-coming artists and support the work they do. While arts and farmers markets are figuring out new safe approaches, the Colorado Artists Virtual Art Fair is bringing the experience home.
Running from 10 a.m. on Friday, June 5 through 3 p.m. on Monday, June 8, the event features six local artists: Liz Covert (jewelry), Lauri R. Dunn (digital art and photography), Victoria Eubanks (encaustic), Amelia Furman (mixed media), Katie Hoffman (painting) and Rita Vali (ceramics).
Search Colorado Artists Virtual Art Fair on Facebook to find the fair and all the necessary details.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - All in WA
The state of Washington is home to one of the most eclectic and important music scenes in the country. And like everywhere else, it’s home to scores of people suffering during the COVID-19 crisis. Artists like Pearl Jam, Ben Gibbard, Dave Matthews, Sir Mix-a-Lot and other Seattle musicians are joining forces for All in WA, a streaming concert at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10.
Funds will be raised for relief efforts across the state, and the concert will be streamed on Amazon’s Twitch channel and will be available afterwards on Amazon Prime. Visit www.allinwa.org for details.
Streaming style - ‘Breeders’
I’m not a parent, but I’ve been reliably informed that one of the keys to making it through the experience is finding things to laugh at. That’s the basic premise behind the hilarious (and occasionally painful) British comedy, “Breeders.”
The show follows parents Ally (Daisy Haggard) and Paul (Martin Freeman) as they navigate parenthood while juggling careers and extended family. The show has just the right amount of absolutely biting British humor, but doesn’t skimp on the moments of genuine humanity.
The first season is available on-demand and Hulu.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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