As Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-56 went into effect Monday to safely reopen Minnesota’s economy and ensure safe non-work activities during Stay Safe MN, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is beginning to slowly re-open courts, play areas, skateparks and sport fields over the next two weeks with the expectation that park visitors will follow social distancing guidance outlined in the order.
In Executive Order 20-56, the Governor encourages public outdoor recreational facilities be open for families and children, and directs all individuals utilizing such facilities to follow the Department of Natural Resources’ Outdoor Recreation Guidelines, which were updated yesterday, May 18, and include the following guidelines for the public:
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.
The MPRB urges park visitors to follow the executive order and the outdoor recreation guidelines. 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.
RE-OPENING OVER NEXT TWO WEEKS, 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
CURRENTLY OPEN (or OPENING SOON), some with modifications per Executive Order guidelines:
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. Opening soon: 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. Opening soon: 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
Visit minneapolisparks.org/coronavirus for more information about the MPRB’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and sign up to receive email updates at minneapolisparks.org/subscribe by selecting “COVID-19” in the “News Updates” section.
Park spaces near water tend to be busier, now is a great time to visit a neighborhood park for your walk instead --find the neighborhood park closest to you at www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/parks__lakes/
#1 Park System in the US!
Minneapolis reclaimed its position as the best park system in the country, according to The Trust for Public Land!
Many thanks to all Minneapolis residents, park users, park employees, volunteers and community partners who make our parks so special!
“We are honored by the top ranking and recognize how important parks are to all Minneapolis residents, particularly during this national health crisis,” said Al Bangoura, Superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
“We remain committed to providing critical park improvements and services, with a focus on the most racially diverse and economically challenged areas of the city. For years we have used equity tools and metrics in establishing our annual budget, capital improvement budget and recreation programming, and we will continue to do so during this pandemic.”
Read more about this recognition here
Authorized Lifeguarded open water swim opportunities are available again this summer at Lake Nokomis Main Beach Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 - 7:30pm and Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 9:30am- 11:30am, June 09 - Aug. 23. The course is approximately 600 yards to swim from Nokomis Main across to 50th Beach; round trip is approx. 1200 yards or 3/4 of a mile. Swimmers can deploy from either Main or 50th Beach. Social distancing standards must be maintained before, during, and after program participation. Upon registration for this program, participants agree to maintain social distance (6 feet) at all times. Failure to comply will result in removal from the program. All participants must be a registered club member, wear designated club cap, and comply with Club standards.
Register here: https://apm.activecommunities.com/minneapolisparks/Activity_Search/110472
Park Concessions Opening for the Season
Realistically, how we move will define the success of the program; re- calibrating our expectations will make or break the program’s success. Plan on parking being an issue, arriving ready to swim, limited Biffs for bathrooms, and exit the water and keep moving until you can be in a place that honors social distancing.