A park on the Silver Strand that measures a mere 40 steps wide has been attracting crowds as large as 300 people, making social distancing impossible and forcing the Port Authority to close it off to the public.
The park in question is Grand Caribe Shoreline Park. You may not have ever heard of it. It’s tucked away in an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood along the strand and is pretty hard to stumble upon.
It’s also just blocks away from Coronado Cays Park and Silver Strand State Beach, where space is plentiful, which is why some neighbors are perplexed by its staying popularity.
Neighbors hellbent to restore the park’s tranquility said it became popular when parks and beaches countywide were closed at the onset of the coronavirus stay-at-home order.
But even after parks and beaches reopened, this one stayed busy, and neighbors aren’t happy.
You get the picture.
“They’re having camp fires,” neighbor Robin Hagemann said. “Big, big crowds of people hanging out here.”
Things got so bad that the Port Authority closed it off to the public indefinitely, and now law enforcement makes regular checks.
Every time an officer comes around to enforce park rules, Hageman runs out to say thank you.
“Some of the people that come here are disrespectful to police when they ask them to put out their cigarettes and throw away their trash and not to defecate in the park,” Hageman said.
If the few spoiled it for the many, neighbors would say the many spoiled it for the few because they can't use the park either.
Police aren't ticketing anyone or making arrests, yet, but violators are being told to leave.
Friends of the park spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours preserving the native plants and wildlife there. The Port Authority placed a statue called "Sheltering Wings" in the center. It symbolizes the preservation of such things.