MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis parks and playgrounds will soon begin the process of reopening as restrictions ease across the state.
As Governor Walz’s executive order went into effect May 18, the Minneapolis Park Board began to slowly reopen courts, play areas, skateparks and sport fields. Visitors will see these changes over the next two weeks.
Over the next two weeks, officials will reopen the following (with the expectation of social distancing, no more than 10 people per amenity, and no team sports):
- Basketball courts –approximately 100 basketball courts opening across the park system
- Play areas – 118 play areas located throughout park system
- Skateparks – six skateparks
- Sport fields – almost 400 multipurpose fields for soccer, football, baseball and softball
- Tennis courts – more than 120 tennis courts across the park system
All visitors are expected to follow the DNR's Outdoor Recreation Guidelines:
- Practice social distancing of at least six feet, except for members of the same family.
- If it is not possible to maintain social distancing throughout the activity, such as while playing a sport like basketball or volleyball where participants are often in close proximity, then you should only participate in that activity with members of your household.
- Keep in mind that even activities and sports that are typically thought of as non-contact, such as doubles tennis or pickleball, may require special accommodations to allow for social distancing.
- Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people.
- Explore the range of nearby public lands available to you; if you arrive at a park, water access site, or other public recreation land and see that it is busy, choose a different option.
- Avoid contact with shared amenities like playground equipment, picnic tables, and benches. Assume such equipment has not been sanitized. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if you do come in contact with shared amenities.
MPRB Park Ambassadors will continue to be in neighborhood and regional parks to provide information and encouragement on social distancing practices to park visitors. Park signs will remind visitors to stay six feet apart, avoid team sports, and to wash hands before and after park visits and use hand sanitizer during park visits.
According to the park board, the following are currently open or will be opening soon with modifications:
- Parks, Trails and Parkways - 180 parks, 51 miles of Grand Round trails, trails throughout neighborhood parks, 21 miles of parkways closed to motorized vehicles and open to pedestrians and cyclists
- Golf Courses – six golf courses and three driving ranges
- Dog Parks – seven dog parks
- Gardens and sanctuaries – 12 floral gardens and two bird sanctuaries
- Eateries -- take-out options only -- Lola’s Food Truck started weekend service at Bde Maka Ska last weekend and Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet opened last weekend (Sea Salt will open at Minnehaha Falls on May 22; Sandcastle will open at Lake Nokomis on June 3)
- Bike and Boat Rentals – bike rentals opened last weekend at Minnehaha Falls and bike and boat rentals opened last weekend at Bde Maka Ska and Lake Nokomis (bike and boat rentals will open at Lake Harriet on May 23)
- Boat/canoe launches and fishing piers –five boat launches, seven canoe launches, and 10 fishing piers