Rilling closes school properties, Cranbury Park

(Patrick Sikes, www.patricksikes.com)

NORWALK, Conn. — Mayor Harry Rilling has closed Cranbury Park and all Norwalk school properties, effective immediately.

The order is due to people congregating in spite of being told to social distance, to limit the spread of COVID-19. In a robocall to citizens, Rilling said that 25 young people had met for a soccer game at Brien McMahon High School.

Anyone found on school properties or Cranbury Park can be charged with criminal trespassing, a press release said.

“I have issued advisories, guidance, and warnings. In spite of that, people are still not taking this situation seriously enough. Young people congregating in groups increases the risk of community transmission, putting each and every one of us at risk,” Rilling is quoted as saying in the release. “I know some might feel invincible, but every person that contracts COVID-19 is likely to pass it on to at least one other person. That means parents and grandparents – people who may be severely affected by this virus – are at increased risk.”

A Calf Pasture Beach playground, surrounded with caution tape. (City of Norwalk)

On Saturday, Rilling closed the playgrounds, basketball courts, and skate park at Calf Pasture Beach and Veteran’s Park.

“Caution tape and barricades are being placed around certain areas to keep the public off equipment and courts. Parks and gates which can be locked, will be locked. At this moment, Calf Pasture Beach and Veteran’s Park remain open to the public, but Mayor Rilling said those may be closed if members of the public do not adhere to proper social distancing guidelines,” the press release said.

“I hope no other closures of public property happen, however, without further cooperation, it seems likely other facilities will be shut down. Parents – please talk to your children – stress the importance of social distancing – and inform them of the seriousness of this pandemic,” Rilling said in the release. “These are difficult, yet necessary decisions, and are ones I wish I didn’t have to make. My top priority is to protect the health and safety of our entire community. Unfortunately, when some people are irresponsible, other people also pay the consequences.”

For updates on City services, hours, and community resources, go to  norwalkct.org/citynews. Health news and updates can be found at norwalkct.org/coronavirus.


Joe March 22, 2020 at 4:36 pm

That was a good and helpful message that the mayor made this morning about the parks etc.

(I wasn’t pleased with his first two messages where he was breathing heavy and talking too fast).

And I love all the people at my Stop and Shop. They are working so hard so we can eat gpod.

They’re making life easy for me and my wife.

I love those people and I am always gping tp shop at stop and shop.

Joe March 22, 2020 at 5:26 pm

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire retail stores are being ordered to temporarily transition to the use of single-use paper or plastic bags because of the risk that reusable bags could pose a risk of transmission of the coronavirus.

Norwalk Common Council, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Kevin Kane March 23, 2020 at 8:59 am

“I’ll be taking a long walk with Annie to get some fresh air, but remember to keep your distance from passers by” – Governor Ned Lamont (Annie is his wife)


Closing Cranbury is very unfortunate and the path was moved from educate to mandate. I’ve been regularly hitting the NRVT and local trails and it’s great to see so many people out there walking, chewing gum and using common sense – all 3 at once…

Piet Marks March 23, 2020 at 9:38 am

To Joe, same for your pipe, just roll it in paper instead. BTW thank you Harry for trying to stay ahead of things. All be safe.

Justataxpayer March 23, 2020 at 1:04 pm

Are the messages being sent out in languages other than english? If so, maybe the soccer game at BMHS would have been prevented

John Levin March 23, 2020 at 4:50 pm

My 8-year-old canine, Saida, was heartbroken when I explained to her that her favorite park would be closed. She loves Cranbury Park, and it’s her favorite place, deep in the woods, to participate in the carbon cycle.

We’ll get by.

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