Palo Alto’s Magical Bridge Playground to Re-Open on November 17
Learn more about the reopening including new safety requirements to be aware of before you visit and ways to volunteer
The City of Palo Alto and the Magical Bridge Foundation are partnering together to reopen the Magical Bridge Playground at Mitchell Park and creating a safe and welcoming place for the community to enjoy. This blog provides details about the reopening as the City and Magical Bridge Foundation welcomes the community back on November 17. Play safely and spread kindness in this magical all-inclusive playground.
SAME BELOVED PLAYGROUND, DIFFERENT WAY TO PLAY
“Thank you so much to the City of Palo Alto for their support in developing a reopening plan to welcome the community back to play safely at the Magical Bridge Playground,” said Jill Asher, Magical Bridge Foundation executive director. “Please ensure that we can continue to offer you this magical experience by following our new rules to play safe for all to enjoy.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Magical Bridge in Palo Alto welcomed an average of 25,000 visitors each month! Interactive and all-inclusive, this playground is unique in more ways than one and we know its been hard to stay away. In order to keep all our community members as safe as possible, certain restrictions and safety measures will be in place beginning on November 17. We ask that community members understand that their play experience will be different, but hope that with vigilant following of safety guidelines, together we will be able to continue to keep this cherished space open for all to enjoy.
NEW PLAYGROUND PROTOCOLS WITH YOUR SAFETY IN MIND
“The goal of the City of Palo Alto and the Magical Bridge Foundation is to keep everyone safe and healthy, while enjoying the “magic” of play at Palo Alto’s Magical Bridge Playground,” said Kristen O’Kane, Community Services director. “Thank you to the Magical Bridge Foundation, our community, City employee teams and volunteers for working with us to reopen safely.’
Please follow these guidelines so we can keep the Magical Bridge Playground open:
· Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. We are closed every Monday for cleaning and disability group visits. It is not permitted to access this park outside of these hours at this time.
· Playground capacity will be capped at 55 people at one time; a staffed entry and exit will ensure capacity is monitored and lines (and social distancing) are maintained. Once the playground reaches capacity, a line will form with markings on the ground to remain 6 feet apart (similar to what you experience at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market).
· Kindness Ambassador volunteers will be present on the playground to assist visitors and ensure social distancing is maintained. Kindness Ambassadors will be wearing black and green vests that say Kindness Ambassador on the back.
· Play time will be limited to 30 minutes per group; a volunteer/staff person may ask you to leave the playground if max capacity is reached and there is a line. Please be patient, be kind and support these safety guidelines, which follow strict State regulations.
· Face masks will be required of every individual entering the park, including adults and kids visiting to play. Staff will provide stickers to anyone who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons to let others know they are not able to wear a mask. If you see someone wearing a sticker, please be kind, understanding and practice social distancing. Maintain 6 ft. distance between households while playing and waiting in line for any playground element.
· We encourage you to “bring your own wipes” to self-clean any high touch surfaces before using. Staff will not be cleaning the playground during the day.
· Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as often as possible while playing, before and after.
· Food or beverages are not permitted in the playground at this time. In addition, cardboard boxes (which we know are very popular on the slide mound) and personal toys are not allowed in the playground.
· Kindly use the gate (near the top of the 2 story treehouse) when exiting the playground.
· Be kind and respectful to City staff, our magical volunteers and all who visit our “magical” space.
When visiting any of Palo Alto’s playgrounds, please follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended social distancing and face mask protocols. These limits are in place for the safety of the whole community. Your actions effect the health and safety of everyone and will help to keep our playgrounds open.
VOLUNTEER AT MAGICAL BRIDGE PALO ALTO — WE NEED YOU!
Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy, while enjoying the “magic” of play in our playground. To do this, we need the help of individuals who are interested in giving back by helping the community play safely while visiting the Magical Bridge Playground. Volunteer shifts are available in 2-hour slots Tuesday through Friday between 8:45 am and 4:45 pm. Volunteers will be responsible for welcoming visitors, ensuring safe play at the playground, and assisting with group transitions every half hour.
All volunteers will be required to gain a background check, as well as provided training on how to be successful and well-prepared. Kindness Ambassadors are an important part of our magical experience at the Magical Bridge Playground. Volunteers will be provided with a vest on your first day. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, check out our website which includes a volunteer interest form. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Chase.Hartmann@cityofpaloalto.org if you have any questions. Volunteer positions are needed as soon as November 17!
Thank you for your interest and willingness to help us provide a safe and kind experience for all to play.
WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER: SPREAD KINDNESS, NOT THE VIRUS
As the community continues to follow evolving public health restrictions, please stay home if you are sick or have symptoms. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask or face covering when outdoors and adhere to social distancing protocols. Spread kindness, not the virus, by being patient and play safely. The City will continue to look to the County and State to guide park and playground availability and opening guidelines to best stop the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Keep updated on Palo Alto City Playgrounds and how to Play Safely: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/playsafely
Learn more about the Magical Bridge Foundation here.
For more FAQ on Santa Clara County’s Public Health Orders and risk reduction requirements, including details about playgrounds, visit the County’s informational website.
Find out more about how to stay safe while visiting parks and playgrounds directly from the CDC.
Stay connected by signing up for the City’s Coronavirus Report digital newsletter here.
Follow us on social media here.