Considering the recent homicide, and increased incidents of risk to public health and safety in Riverside Park, the City of Grants Pass will close Riverside Park to all members of the public for approximately one month. Boatnik will happen as scheduled.
The park closure will go into effect at 12 AM Wednesday, May 24, 2023. After the conclusion of Boatnik, Riverside Park will again be closed to everyone until Thursday, June 22, 2023.
In preparation for Boatnik, Grants Pass Police are in the process of posting 72-hour notices to remove campsites for anyone currently resting in Riverside Park.
On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, City Parks personnel will post signs indicating the closure of Riverside Park to all people; a photo of the sign is shown below.
The homicide that occurred on Sunday, May 14, 2023, was an extreme threat to public safety, though it is not the only threat to public safety and health to occur in Riverside Park. Grants Pass Police regularly patrol Riverside Park and respond to calls there. They have responded to incidents of harassment, theft, criminal damage and vandalism, drug deals, disorderly conduct, overdoses, assaults, rape, propane tank explosions, unlawful use of weapons, shootings, and now, homicide.
Closing Riverside Park to everyone is not something the City takes lightly. After thorough discussions with law enforcement and legal counsel, the City is taking this step to help ensure the safety of people in and around Riverside Park. We understand that many may be frustrated or angry with this choice; however, we need to address the immediate risk to public safety. The reopening of Riverside Park is directly associated with the new changes to Parks codes to be implemented on June 21, 2023, which will provide additional options for reducing such risks once Riverside Park reopens.