MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed all of the picnic areas, beaches, and campgrounds at their recreational areas, while the boat ramps remained open.
At Cedar Creek Recreational area, people began using the closed facilities and also taking up all of the parking spaces at the ramp for vehicles with their boat trailers.
This forced the Corps of Engineers to close the entire area, including the boat ramp temporarily.
Freddie Bell, Operations Manager for Nashville Area Lakes explained the situation.
“We had to make a decision based on resources and say ‘maybe we can redirect the small segment of users of Cedar Creek to other areas’, i.e. the Cedar Creek Marina launching area, Lone Branch, and Shutes Branch temporarily,” said Bell.
“This isn’t an extended closure. This is just to bridge the gap between today and what we’re looking at now, next week.”
But anyone who has been to one of the more popular boat launching areas like Shutes Branch over the last few weekends knows how crowded it’s been. Is the Corps of Engineers doing anything to encourage safety due to the pandemic?
“What we’re doing is encouraging the public to just be smart, and to take safe social distancing seriously,” Bell explained. “And when six feet of distance is not available to where a mask possibly”.
Bell said the Corps of Engineers is following both Governor Lee’s guidelines to re-open, as well as Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s guidelines for lakes in the Nashville area.
The good news is that if things go well, they plan to fully re-open the swimming beaches, picnic areas, and campground facilities at all of their locations by mid-June while encouraging social distancing and safe practices.
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