Keep parks open. The benefits of fresh air outweigh the risks of infection. |

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What public health and well-being policies can help alleviate some of the extraordinary stressors that urbanites are feeling across the nation right now? Part of the answer is baked into every city in the country. It is our public green spaces, our parks, botanical gardens and arboreta right outside our doors or down the street.

Regrettably, though, many public green spaces across the country have been closed. Yes, in most cases, there have been good reasons for the specific closures...

But closing parks and public gardens should be a temporary, last resort measure for disease control....

Maintaining the benefits of public green spaces is critical as we also make our best efforts to restrict transmission of COVID-19. Public parks (though not playgrounds or sports facilities, which are much harder for maintaining social distancing while using), botanical gardens and arboreta are essential to the public health and well-being of the more than 80% of Americans who live in urban areas.

The science could not be clearer: The benefits of getting outside vastly outweigh the risk of getting infected in a park.