Cloquet parks close due to virus

Trails and walking paths are still open.

Dominic Johnson, 16, and Shawn Nelson, 18, practice tricks at the skate park in Cloquet Wednesday, April 1. Nelson said he comes to the park daily to skateboard and Johnson said he visits the park every other day. As a general rule, skateboarders keep a distance between each other to avoid collisions, but when they gather and talk they may not keep the state mandated six feet distance. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

All local parks are closed due to the governor's order to shelter in place during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a news release from the Cloquet Police Department.

Activity fields and outdoor playgrounds are closed, but trails and walking paths are still open to the public. There have been complaints about kids at the Cloquet Skatepark, and a fence was put up around the park to keep people out, said Derek Randall, interim Cloquet Police chief.

“Kids can still go outside and burn off energy, they just cannot congregate in groups,” Randall said.

On Wednesday, April 1, six teenage boys zipped back and forth on skateboards in the afternoon sunshine.

The boys laughed and talked as they practiced various tricks, sometimes falling, sometimes succeeding. For the most part, they kept the minimum distance of six feet apart, as mandated by the state in response to the coronavirus outbreak.


They said if they cannot skate at the park, they will find other locations, such as sidewalks or nearby roads.

Brady Anderson, 16, said he is not worried about himself, but would not want to bring it home to his family. His mother works with senior citizens.

Brady Hall, 20, said he is concerned about catching the virus. He is one of the people who worked for many years to make the skatepark a reality in Cloquet.

“They say exercise is important to stay healthy,” Hall said.

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