The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is making plans to begin reopening facilities May 4, following the City of Springfield’s and Greene County’s updated civil emergency orders. All Park Board facilities and activities have been closed since March to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The updated city and county orders, in effect May 4-31, allow non-essential businesses to reopen with limited capacity and physical distancing guidelines in place. However, the order also prohibits group gatherings of 15 or more people, as well as contact sports, fitness classes, use of playgrounds and public swimming pools (ordered closed until May 23.)
Operating within that framework, as well as in direct coordination with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, the Park Board reopens some facilities in May. Hours, capacity and program availability may be modified at least through May 31, as required by city and county orders. Some facilities and programs remain closed until further notice.
“We are eager to get our facilities back up and running for our community,” said Bob Belote, Director of Parks. “But it’s not as easy as flipping a light switch and everything goes back to the way it was before. Our paramount goal still remains the health and safety of both our patrons and staff, and we must maintain appropriate physical distancing throughout the park system. We continue to align all our operations and safety protocols with the Health Department and we are working to follow their guidelines, along with the Mayor’s Order, at all times.”
Visitors to all Parks facilities must continue to follow CDC physical distancing and hand washing guidelines, including:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially before eating and after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose and using the restroom.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Keep a six-foot distance from others.
- Cover all coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid hand shakes, hugs and hi-fives.
- If you have symptoms of illness, including fever, cough or difficulty breathing, stay home.
Parks, trails, open spaces and golf courses were allowed to be open through the previous city and county stay-home orders, in effect March 17-May 3. These facilities, which included Ozark Greenways trails, Cruse Dog Park, Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, Springfield Archery Complex, outdoor tennis courts and disc golf courses, remain open.
Chesterfield, Dan Kinney and Doling Family Centers reopen Tuesday, May 5, following a modified schedule: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Members must maintain a six-foot distance from one another, and no congregating in common areas. Open areas include the cardio rooms, weight rooms, walking tracks and gymnasium, and the number of users in each area is limited. Fitness classes, personal training and weight spotters are not allowed. No group play in the gym. Restrooms and locker rooms are open, but showers and drinking fountains are closed — bring your own water bottle. Childcare services remain closed. No rentals or birthday parties.
Indoor Aquatics Centers at Chesterfield and Doling Family Centers are expected to reopen in late May, in conjunction with Health Department recommendations. Details will be announced.
Cooper Tennis Center reopens Tuesday, May 5, following a modified schedule: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 8.a.m.-2 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Members must maintain a six-foot distance from each other at all times, including during play. Enter the building through the breezeway. Singles and doubles play and private lessons may resume, but tennis classes and Cooper Tennis Academy remain closed. The pro shop is open, but the fitness room and community room are closed. Restrooms and locker rooms are open, but showers are closed. Reserve courts at 417-837-5800.
Summer Day Camp locations, activities and program size may be modified.Current city and county orders require childcare, including summer day camps, to limit group size to 10 people. Park staff is evaluating all camps and working toward opening SPARC Summer Camps, Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park camps and Valley Water Mill Equestrian Center camps as scheduled, but dates have not been finalized. Details will be announced for these as well as other sports and specialty camps. Camp registration continues to be available at ParkBoard.org/camps.
Jordan Valley Ice Park reopens Monday, May 4, with limited capacity. Public ice skating and freestyle skating sessions schedules are posted at ParkBoard.org/IcePark. Classes and contact sports such as ice hockey are suspended through May 31.
Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park outdoor areas of the park have been open. The park’s Gift Shop reopens Tuesday, May 5, allowing fishing pole rentals and catch-and-release fishing to resume. Animal barns are also open. The playground and classroom remain closed. No rentals, birthday parties or field trips.
Springfield Skate Park reopens Tuesday, May 5, following a modified schedule: Tuesday-Friday, 3-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Capacity will be limited and skaters must maintain a six-foot distance from each other at all times. The pro shop is open and curbside service continues. No birthday parties, lessons, rentals or special events.
Lake Springfield Boathouse reopens Monday, May 11. Canoe, Kayak and Paddleboard rentals open Friday, May 15. The meeting room and Northwoods Pavilion remain closed, with no rentals.
Valley Water Mill Equestrian Center reopens Monday, May 11, for private lessons. Riders must maintain a six-foot distance from one another, with no more than 15 riders and instructors on site at once. No rentals or classes.
CLOSED AND UNDER EVALUATION
The following facilities and activities remain closed or canceled until further notice as staff evaluates whether they may reopen this summer:
Playgrounds, pavilions and restrooms remain closed. The current order prohibits use of playgrounds, as the virus may live on hard metal and plastic surfaces. Pavilions and restrooms remain closed to discourage group gatherings.
Dickerson Park Zoo remains closed, including all programs and classes. Staffis evaluating whether Dickerson Park Zoo may reopen under current city and county orders. No date has been set.
Sports leagues, ballfields, Lake Country Soccer and O’Reilly-Tefft Gym. The city and county orders prohibit contact sports through May 31, including games and practices for softball, baseball, sluggers, T-ball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, football, ice hockey and Miracle League. Sports facilities remain closed, and no field rentals are available. Park Board staff is evaluating whether summer softball and baseball leagues and tournaments may resume. No dates have been set.
Outdoor Swimming Pools will not open as planned on Memorial Day weekend, in part due to the interruption in lifeguard training and seasonal hiring. Staff is evaluating. No date has been set.
Fountains at Jordan Valley Park, Founders Park and Springfield Botanical Gardens remain closed, to discourage group gatherings.
Northview Center remains closed, including all Seniors and Accessible Recreation programs. SeniorAge home-bound meal delivery continues, curbside pick-up is available at Northview. Call 417-864-8606 for meal information. Southwest Senior Games are postponed to a later date.
Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center remains closed to the public. Staff is evaluating how and when the building may reopen.
Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden remains closed, due to ongoing sidewalk construction in the garden, with an anticipated opening date in June.
All facility rentals, including birthday parties, pavilions and community rooms, are suspended at least through May 31.
Timmons Hall, Tom Watkins Center, Oak Grove Community Center, and the Park Board administrative offices all remain closed to the public until further notice.
This list may be updated as needed.
For more information on what’s closed and open in Parks, visit http://parkboard.org/coronavirus.