What You Need to Know About Chicago’s Parks During Phase 3 of the City’s Reopening | Chicago News

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The play areas remain closed, pending public health directives. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

UPDATE: The lakeside trail will reopen on June 22, but the beaches will remain closed

Most of Chicago’s parks “reopened” on Monday – although technically the exterior has never been “closed” except along the lake – but access to facilities and equipment will remain limited.

The park pavilions are only open for toilets and shelters, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Locker rooms, showers, gyms and fitness centers will remain closed “until public health guidelines permit,” according to Chicago Park District spokeswoman Michele Lemons.

Take note: the playgrounds are still closed, pending the same public health guidelines. Officials stressed that the equipment was not cleaned or disinfected, so parents are urged to keep children away from the equipment to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

No opening date has been set for the pools and wading pools, Lemons said.

Programming for the youth camp is scheduled to begin on July 6, she said.

According to the city’s Phase 3 plan to reopen, which cautiously eases restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the lakeside trail, beaches and parks east of Lake Shore Drive are still closed, and the same goes for trail 606 and the Riverwalk.

Lakeside parks west of Lake Shore Drive reopened on Monday, including Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, Harold Washington Park and Jackson Park. Maggie Daley Park will reopen on June 15 and Millennium Park will reopen in mid-June.

One hundred social distancing “ambassadors” will help manage the flow of people to these parks, along with reminders about social distancing guidelines and the use of face coverings.

Indoor golf courses, including the Diversey Driving Range, are open. Visit www.cpdgolf.com for lesson times, directions and to reserve a tee time. The Sydney R. Marovitz and South Shore golf courses are still closed.

Friends of the Parks executive director Juanita Irizarry sent a memo to members on Monday praising the approach of the park district’s reopening.

“We were happy to see that it is quite nuanced, as we requested,” Irizarry wrote, citing the reopening of the green spaces at Rainbow and Calumet parks, even though the beaches are still closed.

The organization also celebrated the reopening of Steelworkers Park in South Chicago. The park may be located along the lake, but it is “chronically underused year round” and shouldn’t have been closed in the first place, Friends argued throughout the coronavirus shutdown.

“It would, in fact, be nice to see more Chicagoans discover this historically significant space and build a user base that would support better facilities there,” Irizarry said.

With the Steelworkers and so many other parks now open, Irizarry said, “We hope that access to these parks will allow Chicagoans to stay safe and space more apart while enjoying the physical and mental benefits of visiting parks and nature. ”

Note: This story was originally posted on June 3, 2020. It has been updated.

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 | [email protected]


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