INDIANAPOLIS – With the increase of people visiting parks and participating in group activities, Indy Parks and IMPD today reminded residents to follow social distancing guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in our city’s parks. Residents should maintain at least 6 feet between themselves and others while adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s personal hygiene steps.
“The patterns of use we are seeing in our parks concerns me greatly,” said Linda Broadfoot, director of Indy Parks. “To ensure that our spaces are healthy and safe, we’ve had to close playgrounds and shelters to discourage people from gathering. Our team wholeheartedly supports fitness and recreational activities, but at this time we need the public’s help to practice social distancing, take health precautions, and avoid gathering in groups.”
Effectively immediately, Indy Parks is closing basketball courts in parks experiencing increases in group play. Other court-type amenities will also be closed in an effort to eliminate group activities. Additional restrictions may be enforced as staff continue to monitor park spaces.
Last week, IMPD Park Rangers began education & awareness patrols in Indy Parks. During these patrols, rangers are reminding residents enjoying our city’s public spaces to practice social distancing, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Indy Parks manages 212 parks, 135 miles of trails, 132 playgrounds, and 11,254 acres including dog parks, aquatic and nature centers, family centers, and more.
Indy Parks is continuing its current service modifications:
- Parks programming is suspended, with the exception of programming related to food access/delivery.
- Parks’ program and rental registrations are suspended.
- Parks’ facilities will remain closed to the public, including family centers and aquatics facilities.
- The sale of dog park passes is suspended.
- Playgrounds are closed.
- Municipal golf courses will operate with modified hours and operations.
Park family centers are offering meal options for residents and their families using the meal schedule. Free meals will be available for youth ages 18 and under, and through a partnership with Second Helpings, free meals are also available for adults at some park locations. Visit parks.indy.gov to view a current meal schedule.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has put together useful tips for Social Distancing in Public Parks and Trails:
- Do not use parks or trails if you are experiencing symptoms.
- Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks and trails.
- Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains.
- Share the trail and warn other trail users of presence and as you pass.
- Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other persons at all times.
Indy Parks is committed to doing whatever it takes to keep our parks and park spaces safe and healthy for our customers and employees. For questions, contact the Customer Service Center at (317) 327-PARK or email IndyParksCS@indy.gov.