Play Safe, Live Smart: Columbus Recreation and Parks Summer Plans
Columbus Recreation and Parks Department continues to place priority in
keeping Columbus residents safe and healthy during the public health
emergency. With guidance from Columbus
Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health, the department is moving
forward with opening select programming to provide Columbus individuals and
families recreational opportunities for the summer.
incredibly encouraged by last week’s announcement from Governor Mike DeWine,
which provided guidelines for childcare, summer youth programming and camps. Columbus Recreation and Parks has been working
diligently to develop safety protocols to provide opportunities for young
people, and we are excited to announce our plans for the summer. As is the case
with all COVID-19-related decisions, the health, safety and well-being of our
residents is our first priority,” said
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.
The department has adapted many of its program offerings and prepared
many of its facilities to ensure the safety of residents and staff. Below are
updates as of May 21, 2020:
- A number of summer programs, camps and classes will be offered beginning
June 15 with adjusted group sizes and formats. The department has developed
strict safety protocols to protect the health of residents and staff. Families
who already have registered for programming will be contacted with additional
information. If any registered family doesn’t feel comfortable participating in
programming, they can withdraw and receive a full refund.
- The department’s two signature summer events–Jazz & Ribs Fest and the
African American Cultural Festival–have been canceled due to mass gathering
requirements from the Ohio Department of Health. The department looks forward
to hosting these events in 2021.
“Columbus Recreation and Parks serves as an important resource for our
community. We will continue to work hard to restore access to as many of our
programs and facilities as safely possible,” said Paul Rakosky, director of
Columbus Recreation and Parks. “As things continue to evolve, we will
vigorously monitor the status of our programs and apply new guidance to ensure
the safety of our community and staff.”
The status of additional programs and facilities is listed below:
- The department is the largest summer food provider in Ohio and continues
to work with key partners across the city to ensure the essential need of
providing healthy and nutritious meals to kids under age 18 this summer will
continue during this challenging time. The summer meal program, commonly known
as Go Lunch!, will continue.
- The city’s golf courses are open for seasonal play. Golfers are
encouraged to review the additional safety protocols the department has put in
place to ensure the safety of the public and staff.
- Marinas and docks for recreational access to the city’s waterways are
open. It is important all residents follow social distancing guidelines and
wear cloth masks or face coverings while participating in recreational
activities where possible.
parks and trails remain open. Additionally, all public playgrounds, basketball
courts and public recreational equipment are closed. This includes recreational
equipment like outdoor exercise gyms, picnic tables and sporting equipment. Recent
guidance included the reopening of racket sports, and the department will begin
installing the nets on tennis and pickleball courts, which will likely take
several weeks to complete.
Columbus Recreation and Parks remains focused on connecting residents to
nature, wellness and creativity, and will adjust programming and resources to
ensure it aligns with the health and safety recommendations from the Ohio
Department of Health and Columbus Public Health.
For additional resources and information about
COVID-19, visit Columbus Public Health, Ohio
Department of Health or Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Additionally, Ohio residents with specific questions
related to COVID-19 can also call 833-4-ASK-ODH (833-427-5634). For the latest
department information and updates, visit Columbus.gov/RecParksCOVID19/
or call 614-645-3300 (and select option 3). (The website will be live about
3:30 p.m. May 21, 2020.)