Roanoke River Greenway closed until further notice for coronavirus concerns


ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke River Greenway closed the recreational areas until further notice due to overcrowding concerns amidst the coronavirus crisis.

“I love being outdoors, walking, riding a bike,” said Sandi Smith, resident of Botetourt County.

Smith considers herself an outdoors enthusiast. She makes her drive every week to visit the city’s greenways. Like many, she was surprised to learn about the temporary closures.

Roanoke City made the announcement Wednesday during a virtual news conference. All Roanoke greenways will be closed until at least April 30. City officials said the decision was made because hundreds of people were utilizing the greenways and not social distancing.

“I could understand why they would make that decision, even just some of the parks because it’s really to protect the people in the community,” said Smith.

Sandi says while times are uncertain and activities are limited, she sees an opportunity to get creative and visit other areas like Walrond Park in Roanoke County.

Although parks, trails, and recreation spaces remain open, Roanoke County Parks and Recreation officials say they have implemented new restrictions and that all future decisions will depend on the ability of residents to follow them.

“I get really lonesome at home. Like, really, really lonesome. I don’t like to sit at home,” says Alexandria Smith, a resident of Roanoke City.

And all we can do is hope and pray that it’ll be over soon, and it will be as long as we are doing our part as a community.

Sandi Smith, Botetourt Resident

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