Bainbridge park district shuts down, but parks to remain open

The Bainbridge parks district is shutting down through the end of the month due to a shortage of employees, officials announced Friday.

The Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District said starting Saturday, March 14, all park district-run activities, facilities, and sports fields will be closed.

The shutdown will last until March 31.

“This was a very challenging decision to make, but over the past two weeks, our agency has seen staff absenteeism increase by 50 percent,” the park district said in Friday’s announcement.

“Without our essential operating staff, our agency is unable to open facilities and run programming for the community. With recommendations from the state governor’s office, Kitsap Public Health District, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is in the agency’s best interest to use this closure for proper social distancing and to give our staff and community time to get healthy,” the announcement continued.

“We understand this closure causes some challenges to our very active community,” the message said.

Officials said refunds will be issued for all programs and events that have been cancelled during the closure.

Parks, playgrounds and trails will remain open.

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