DEC and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) have launched PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL Campaign to encourage safe, responsible and local recreation this summer.
The campaign invites people to take the pledge, and promise to use common sense to protect themselves and others when enjoying the outdoors.
DEC and State Parks are promoting the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by partnering with stakeholders including state and local environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, and community and public health groups.
The campaign and pledge include common sense guidelines for smart and safe recreation, including incorporating social distancing and wearing a face mask, planning trips ahead, choosing a destination close to home because public restrooms and restaurants may not be open, and visiting at off hours.
The agencies are also encouraging New Yorkers to take the pledge and use the hashtag #PlaySmartPlaySafePlayLocal when sharing their outdoor adventures on social media.
The Pledge to PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL:
- I pledge to respect the rules and do my part to keep parks, beaches, trails, boat launches, and other public spaces safe for everyone.
- I will stay local and close to home.
- I will maintain a safe distance from others outside of my household.
- I will wear a mask when I cannot maintain social distancing.
- I accept that this summer, I may have to adjust how I enjoy the outdoors to help keep myself and others healthy and safe, even if it means changing my plans to visit a public space.
- I will be respectful of others by letting them pass by me if needed on a trail and keeping my blanket ten feet apart from others on the beach.
- I will move quickly through shared areas like parking lots, trailheads, and scenic areas to avoid crowding.
- If I’m not feeling well, I will stay home.
New Yorkers are strongly advised to plan their outdoor adventures ahead of time and choose alternate destinations if their first choice is closed or crowded. Check the State Parks website and 511ny website for State Park capacity closure alerts.
DEC and State Parks websites also feature guidelines to help New Yorkers safely engage in outdoor activities including swimming, hunting, fishing, boating, golf, and hiking.
Indoor spaces and restrooms at State Parks and DEC public facilities may remain closed to prevent community spread of COVID-19, so New Yorkers are encouraged to stay local, within their region.