Park District closes select facilities


Sophie Myong | Northern Star

While parks and trails will remain open, playgrounds like the one at Welsh Park will be closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

James Krause, Senior Reporter

DeKALB — The DeKalb Park District has announced that parks and trails will remain open while playgrounds, sports courts, golf courses and other facilities are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Park District warned in a Friday news release that residents still looking to visit parks and trails should be prepared for public bathrooms and water fountains to be closed off.

DeKalb Park District Board President Phil Young said the group hopes keeping the parks open can help those currently struggling with mental health and stress during these trying times.

“We recognize that social distancing may take a toll on our mental health, especially during this high-stress time of a public health emergency,” Young said in the release. “We also know that our parks provide a connection to the outdoors and green space as well as opportunities for physical activity which studies demonstrate reduces stress and improves mental health.”

Measures have been taken to ensure and remind residents not to visit closed facilities, removing swings from playgrounds and blocking off nets on basketball courts.

Young said he empathises with residents who wish to use the facilities, but the board decided closing the facilities would quicken the return to normal life.

“Like all of our residents, we are looking forward to the days when life returns to normal and we can gather as a community for picnics in the park, pushing our kids on the swings, having summer ball games, and movies and concerts in the park. Until then, we must all do our part to keep this virus from spreading.”

The Park District suggested that residents play catch, ride bicycles and fish to make use of its open parks and trails.