The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is closing all public beaches and pools for the entire summer, canceling summer recreational programs and team sports that do not allow social distancing and shuttering all of its buildings until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In announcing the closures Thursday night, the Park Board noted, “It’s clear that social distancing will be part of life in Minnesota for many months to come.” The board said it based its decisions on data and guidance from Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health.
“Based on the governor’s forecast and concern for the health and safety of park visitors and employees, the MPRB is bracing for a future that drastically changes services and programs this spring and summer,” the Park Board announcement read. “All plans are designed to ensure social distancing, prevent congregating and protect the health of the public and employees.”
The closures extend to park restrooms, drinking fountains and aquatic facilities.
The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is also closed, because its narrow paths and boardwalks make social distancing too difficult.
City parks and trails will remain open, as will playgrounds, parkways, dog parks and athletic fields and courts. Golf courses will open if Gov. Tim Walz allows it, the Park Board said.
Residents should try to stay 6 feet apart while at parks, and wash their hands immediately before and after visiting, the board said.
No group activities are allowed at parks with people outside one’s household, and team sports are prohibited at athletic fields and courts, the Park Board said.