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Polliwog Park Re-Opens With New Signage, Enforcement

Apr 25, 2020 10:34AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Polliwog Park re-opened on a trial basis on Saturday morning, with a police cruiser and staff on hand as well as widespread signage. 

Saturday's opening of Polliwog Park marked the first loosening of restrictions since the COVID-19 shutdown went into effect.

Although the park itself is open, amenities such as restrooms, playgrounds and fitness equipment, sports fields, the dog run, picnic pads, Manhattan Beach Historical House, Begg Pool, and the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden remain closed. Additionally, Begg Pool parking lot remains closed.

Early Saturday morning, a handful of park-goers strolled through the park while a city police cruiser monitored the situation. The city has posted extensive signage ("Remember No Gatherings," "Spread The Word - Not The Virus," "Social Distancing: Stay 6 Feet Apart" and more) around the park.

City officials are asking for cooperation so that the park can stay open.

Taking Re-Opening Slowly

At Friday morning's Manhattan Beach City Council meeting, council member Suzanne Hadley advocated for opening at least Bruce's Beach in addition to Polliwog Park so that there would be one park on the West side and one park on the East side of town. 

"I'm a little discouraged that this Polliwog is just one bite of caviar and the 'buffet' is going to remain closed," she said. 

Yet city staff urged caution and the rest of the council members appeared to be in favor of taking things slowly.

Mayor Richard Montgomery said he wanted to hear reports and analysis from how the Polliwog opening went before opening additional parks.

"I agree with the city manager - I need to see two weekends to see how we do," said Mayor Richard Montgomery. "Let’s take a wait-and see-attitude. Give it two weekends. They have no idea how much staff it takes, what it takes to run it. Who knows, maybe by that time the state and the county will look at these things differently."

For the moment, the park question is set to be revisited on May 5.

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