Gainesville Keeps Some Nature Parks Open, Citing Mental Health Reasons

As a response to COVID-19, Florida closed its state parks, but in Gainesville, they’ve kept a number of city-owned ones open. Among those open is Sweetwater’s Nature Center, which cites the natural spaces as crucial for exercise and mental health. They’re taking precautions, though – adhering to added protections for workers who don’t feel comfortable working, frequent cleanings, and posting signs along the trail as social distance reminders.

This is a rapid response story about a coping strategy. Due to the urgent crisis, we are relaxing the ‘evidence of effectiveness’ criterion for solutions coverage on COVID-19 to capture early stage, improvisational, and experimental responses that cope with the pandemic.

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