With many parks, trails, and beaches closed to the public, many Angelenos are struggling to find places to stretch their legs, stay active, and shake off the cabin fever. One option that remains available–at least for now–is the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia.
The outdoor park space is workable during social distancing thanks to 2.5 miles of paths that are 18 to 20 feet wide, which should allow space to spread out from any other walkers you might encounter–as long as everyone makes the effort to stay at least six feet apart as they go about their strolls (and, of course, stays home entirely if they are exhibiting the slightest hint of a COVID symptom).
“The design of the Arboretum has turned out to be a real gift, though in a way not envisioned by the founders 70 years ago,” CEO Richard Schulhof told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
To further limit crowding, Arboretum is also now requiring tickets be purchased online in advance, allowing the number of daily visitors to be capped at 1,300 per day. Some passes may also offer a specific time slot. The library, gift shop, visitor pavilion, cafe, most restrooms, and smaller dirt paths have all been closed; only a minimal staff is on site to check tickets at a side entrance.
Those who visit will be treated to specimens of thousands of plants, from cacti to rose bushes. Recent rains have brought some extra blooms to the gardens. And, of course, there are the famous peacocks prowling the grounds.
While the protocols in place have allowed the Arboretum to continue operating for now, it may have to close if there is a problem effectively managing crowds or other problems develop.
“The county makes the decisions as to whether or not we can remain open,” Schulhof told the Bulletin. “We’ve been able to remain open continuously thus far, but that could change at any time.”
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