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Nyland Outdoor Common Areas Are Open With Restrictions

 July 2, 2020 — Nyland Board of Directors


Thank you for your patience as your Board of Directors grapples with how to balance the various needs of the community regarding use of Nyland’s outdoor common areas while in the middle of this COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, the Board was a microcosm of the larger community with all of the various perspectives represented. As such, it has taken a bit longer for us to arrive at a solution that we hope is workable and, if not, can be modified and amended as needed. 


Before you jump to reading the guidelines for each outdoor area to determine if they meet your needs, we ask that you take the time to read this entire document, including the FAQ section at the end. We also ask that you try using the outdoor areas with these guidelines in place to see what your real, lived experience is rather than what you think it will be like. As always, the board is interested in your ideas and input, but please remember that we are not a police force nor a substitute for community process. If there remains contention on how to effectively use the Nyland outdoor spaces, it may be most prudent for the community to come together in an exploration of our shared values to help set guidelines inspired and overseen by the larger community. Indeed, that may be the most prudent thing to do anyway since it is likely that we will all be living with this pandemic for a while. In the meantime, it is our highest hope and intention that what we are putting forward in this document is a workable solution.


Thank you,


Your Nyland Board of Directors

Mary K., Matt N., Jim B. Jesse D., Toria T, Leslie B., Heidi H., Mike C., Marina D., David R.



The Board of Directors met several times since the community meeting on 6/18/2020 to discuss re-opening the outdoor common areas here at Nyland. The feedback received during that community meeting and by email was helpful and has informed the Board’s decision. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic and a range of personal health situations, community members clearly have varied perspectives on how “open” Nyland’s outdoor common areas should be.


The Board has considered these multiple perspectives in depth, and sought the simplest solution for sharing outdoor common areas safely, workably and with mutual respect for different needs and preferences.


The Board has voted to reopen all outdoor common areas, with restrictions, effective immediately, in full alignment with current citycounty, and state public health regulations. Additional restrictions are based on the specific sizes and uses of Nyland’s outdoor spaces as follows:


Volleyball Court:


  • Maximum of 8 people using the volleyball court at any one time. Players and spectators are expected to maintain social distancing from non-household members.

  • Pathways surrounding the court should be kept clear for passersby who want to maintain 6-ft distance.

  • Any dogs present must adhere to Nyland’s dog leash rule. All dogs must be on a leash and not be allowed to run free.

  • Closed on Mondays to allow for a day of minimal activity in the area.



Basketball Court:


  • Maximum of 6 people using the basketball court at any one time.  Players and spectators are expected to maintain social distancing from non-household members.

  • Pathways surrounding the court should be kept clear for passersby who want to maintain 6-ft distance.*

  • Any dogs present must adhere to Nyland’s dog leash rule. All dogs must be on a leash and not be allowed to run free.

  • Closed on Mondays to allow for a day of minimal activity in the area.



* Pathway Between Volleyball and Basketball Court: Please keep the path between the volleyball court and the basketball court clear for all who want to use it. This is an important request — it is crucial that we respect people’s personal social distancing needs and preferences. Keeping the path clear will help with this, and each of us has responsibility to speak up to remind each other. The Board will place clear signage to this effect, and has also requested that Land CAG create a safe, clearly-marked alternate path on the east edge of the playing field, for the use of anyone not wishing to be in proximity to active volleyball or basketball games. 




  • Maximum of 10 people using the pavilion at any one time, maintaining social distancing from non-household members.

  • Pathways surrounding the pavilion should be kept clear for passersby who want to maintain 6-ft distance.

  • Any dogs present must adhere to Nyland’s dog leash rule. All dogs must be on a leash and not be allowed to run free.





  • Maximum of 6 people using the same playground at any one time, with adults maintaining social distancing from non-household members.

  • Pathways surrounding the playgrounds should be kept clear for passersby who want to maintain 6-ft distance.

  • Any dogs present must adhere to Nyland’s dog leash rule. All dogs must be on a leash and not be allowed to run free.



Playing Field


  • Maximum of 10 people using the playing field at any one time, maintaining social distancing from non-household members.

  • Pathways surrounding the playing field should be kept clear for passersby who want to maintain 6-ft distance.

  • Any dogs present must adhere to Nyland’s dog leash rule. All dogs must be on a leash and not be allowed to run free.



Pedways, walkways and Nyland trails and open spaces:


  • Maintain 6-ft distancing from non-household members whenever possible.

  • Carry and wear a cloth face covering outdoors (children excepted) when distancing is either a) not possible, or b) not being practiced.

  • If you encounter a person wearing a face covering, that is your signal that they would like you to maintain a 6-ft distance from them or put on a mask if that is not possible. That may mean either of you (or both) stepping off of the trail or walkway or altering your route slightly.

  • The main protection a mask offers is to stop the spread of COVID-19 when the WEARER has the virus. Keep in mind that many people may be carriers without showing any symptoms. Masks (other than N95 masks) offer little protection for healthy people not wanting to catch the virus. 



Conclusion & Timing

This was a difficult decision for the Board to make, but we feel that it best meets the needs of the greatest number of people at Nyland, without risking the health of those most vulnerable, and respects the wishes of those who want or need boundaries. 

This decision is in effect until October 1, and is subject to revision by 1) the Nyland Board of Directors, 2) addendums and revisions to city, county, or state health orders, or 3) a Nyland community process.


The Board greatly appreciates everyone’s feedback, and the efforts of all Nylanders to stay safe and help each other stay safe during this pandemic. With care for each other and a spirit of community, we can responsibly share our outdoor common areas and continue to thrive.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): 


1. What is the Board’s authority regarding Nyland Outdoor Common Areas?

Nyland’s outdoor common areas are specifically the purview of the Board, under Nyland’s CC&Rs (section 3 and specifically 3.5 and 3.7). Similar to how the board is responsible for the safety of the pedways by making sure they are free and clear of snow and ice and by replacing sidewalks that are damaged, the board is also tasked by the CC&Rs with managing Nyland’s outdoor common areas for safety and within the values of the Nyland community.


The Board fully supports community-wide decision-making processes, where appropriate. The early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, when the state issued the “Stay-At-Home” order, was a unique situation — we faced a public health emergency, in which the Board felt it necessary to act fast to ensure safety and to comply with public health authorities. Now that there is less of an emergency, the Board is re-opening all the outdoor common areas with restrictions, and encourages a community process (separate from and not managed by the Board) to consider revisions to these usage policies if needed.


2. Why is the board imposing additional restrictions above what the City, County and State have imposed?

The pandemic is far from over, with the number of new cases per week currently increasing in 36 states, including Colorado. The virus has been proven to spread from people who have not experienced symptoms — so any one of us could have the virus and be infecting others without knowing it. There is still no reliable treatment for COVID-19, nor a vaccine, nor is there certain sustained immunity after recovery. 


Outdoor transmission from passing contact is very low-risk, according to current scientific consensus. However, as the number of people gathered in an area increases, and with people tired of distancing and isolation, it is likely that some outdoor gatherings will result in longer-duration mingling between some participants, with a higher risk of viral transmission. This effect seems particularly to occur in the area of the two courts and path. Non-distanced gatherings in such a central public space can have the effect of weakening norms around distancing and damaging the sense of community safety for people for whom infection risk is a matter of life-and-death importance. 


For this and the additional reasons below, the Board has focused on setting a maximum number of users for some of our community-owned outdoor spaces that is lower than the maximum set by public health authorities for larger public playgrounds, etc. In determining parameters for each area, the Board considered many factors, including:


  • Size of each area

  • Placement of each area, i.e., courts on either side of main pathway to the farm, with only a narrow margin of separation

  • Different typical and possible use-cases for each area, and specific use requirements and safety considerations for each

  • Customary patterns of usage of each area

  • Nyland community norms of equitable access and respect for different viewpoints, preferences and needs

  • Proportion of community members who are at-risk (themselves or their family members) due to age or underlying health conditions

  • Dogs running free in a crowded area contributes to the collapse of distancing mentioned above, hence the on-leash requirement, which is already Nyland policy, but some guests may not be aware of it.





Colorado “Safer at Home” Website


Colorado Public Health Order 20-28 SAFER AT HOME AND IN THE VAST, GREAT OUTDOORS


Boulder County COVID-19 Website


Boulder County Public Health Facial Covering Order


City of Lafayette COVID-19 Website














May 13, 2020 - Board Announcement



In its evolving response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, on Saturday, May 9, Boulder County shifted from “Stay at Home” (sheltering in place) to the “Safer at Home” Public Health Order that the state had already implemented. Nyland’s Board of Directors continues to be guided by the State of Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment, along with our county and city public health authorities, in consultation with the Nyland COVID Hub. 


The short version is that the shift to the “Safer at Home” order changes very little as far as life at Nyland is concerned. Some businesses are opening, and some of us are able to begin working again. Perhaps the biggest change in Boulder County is that now, under the State order, people are “urged to wear non-medical cloth face coverings whenever in public.”  This applies here at Nyland.


Both in the City of Lafayette and around Boulder County, playgrounds remain closed. Some recreational facilities such as golf courses and tennis courts, where social distancing is possible, have opened. All other facilities, such as public bathrooms, volleyball courts, and basketball courts, remain closed. 


The Nyland Board of Directors’ previous announcement that the playgrounds, playing field, pavilion, volleyball and basketball courts are closed remains in effect, with one amendment:  Gatherings of fewer than 10 people are now allowed in the pavilion, the playing field, and other open spaces at Nyland, as long as a) people maintain six feet of separation, and/or b) are members of the same household. The volleyball court and the basketball courts remain closed until further notice. The Board urges community members to wear masks in public in alignment with the state’s “Safer at Home” order.


The word “household” clearly has been subject to different interpretations. Some of us have immediate family members or significant others who do not reside here at Nyland but who visit. Others have chosen to effectively combine households here at Nyland when children play with each other, for example, or members of different households work together in close proximity. We acknowledge that there is no perfect definition of “household.” However, we ask that Nylanders understand that contact with each person outside the home where you live carries an additional risk to you — and to others. Here at Nyland, we have a number of people who are at high risk because of their age or medical conditions, or they care for people who are at high risk. We ask that you understand their concerns and please be considerate and conservative in your social interactions during this phase.


We know that people have different tolerances for risk, and different perceptions of the degree to which various behaviors put others at risk. Many of us have strayed from the public health orders and Nyland’s recommended safe practices already, by inviting people into our homes, allowing our children to play in close proximity to other children, and gathering in our yards and public spaces. As a Board, we can only ask again that everybody understands that there is still a killer on the loose, and we should still behave as if our lives — and our

neighbors’ lives — depend on how we behave. 



More if you want to read it:


While Colorado has seen indications that our efforts to “flatten the curve” are working, this deadly virus is still very much among us, and transmission continues to spread. There are still many unknowns about how the virus is transmitted, but this much is absolutely clear: People give the virus to other people through close contact. How close? Nobody knows exactly. Who is a carrier, who can have it and not have symptoms? Unclear. How long can it live on a park bench or a kitchen counter? Difficult to be sure. Children have been getting it, healthy adults have been getting it, and older people are hardest hit. People of all ages are dying from it. New symptoms and long-term effects from infection are being discovered. It’s not pretty, and we’re by no means through the “worst” of this pandemic, in Colorado or globally.


Yet life goes on, and we continue to do our best to prevent further spread of this disease, which has killed about 1,000 people in Colorado, over 80,000 in the U.S. and 300,000 worldwide. We can all agree that it sucks.


Still, there are signs that our “shelter in place” guidelines have helped. Caution and care are required to maintain this progress, and to ensure the ongoing well-being of our community, in particular those who are most vulnerable among us.  As the state takes steps to return Coloradans to work, basic precautions remain in place here at Nyland, in accordance with what the State, Boulder County, and City of Lafayette are requiring as follows:

   •     Stay at home if you are feeling sick – self quarantine


   •     Continue to practice social distancing, maintaining a six-foot distance from others on our land, on trails, in parks, and while walking pets. This six-foot distance should be maintained with anyone not in your household.  


   •     Limit travel to within your county of residence or employment as much as possible and recreational travel to no further than 10 miles of your residence.  


   •     Wear a non-medical cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth whenever in public.


   •     Social interactions to the greatest extent possible should be limited except as required to conduct necessary activities. 


   •     Vulnerable Individuals, defined as follows, should continue to stay home:

1. Individuals who are 65 years and older;

2. Individuals with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;

3. Individuals who have serious heart conditions;

4. Individuals who are immune-compromised;

5. Pregnant women; and

6. Individuals determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider


   •     Public gatherings of ten (10) persons or more are prohibited.  



While this is a first step toward resuming our daily lives, the Nyland Board and the COVID Hub are monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and additional precautions may be necessary in the future.


You are invited to familiarize yourself with the Public Health and Executive Orders here:


APRIL 2020



The Updated Public Health 20-24 Order Implementing Stay at Home Requirements, issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on March 25, 2020, requires that all Colorado residents “may leave their residence only to perform necessary activities” and only do so if they comply with social distancing.


While some forms of outdoor recreation in the form of “walking, hiking, biking, running, and similar outdoor activities” are permitted , the governor’s Public Health Order states that “all playgrounds, picnic areas, other similar areas conducive to public gathering shall be closed.” The State’s website introduces the Public Health Order with a strong statement of intent: “All people in Colorado must follow the letter and the spirit of these orders. Do not try to bend the rules or find loopholes. It’s up to us all to keep people safe and build up our health care system so we can treat people who are sick and save lives.”


In compliance with this state order, the Board is declaring the volleyball court, basketball court, playing field, playgrounds, and Pavilion at Nyland closed to community use for all group activities that do not meet the social distancing guidelines until further notice. We hope to re-open these common areas as soon as it is legal and safe to do so.


This decision is made to protect community health, as well as to comply with Colorado law. Although we would have preferred this decision to have been made in a whole-community process, the situation is such as to warrant immediate action.


The Board encourages ongoing community discussion about how we can best support each other during these trying times. 


The Nyland Board

April 4, 2020


Link to the Updated Public Health 20-24 Order Implementing Stay at Home Requirements, issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on March 25, 2020:

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