Minneapolis parks remain open but many amenities modified or closed for health of community

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) said Friday it is modifying or closing more if its amenities to keep the community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modifications and closures are expected to be complete by May 1.

"From the beginning, we have been following the guidelines of public health experts. We’re taking this necessary step to slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health and safety of residents and their families," said MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura. "We have put a lot of effort into educating and encouraging social distancing, but we continue to see park visitors gathering during this national health crisis."

Park board considers closing Minneapolis parks if better social distancing practices aren’t used

Parks remain open, but based on public health recommendations the following amenities have, or soon will be, modified or closed:

  • By May 1: Playgrounds, skate parks and athletic fields will be closed; tennis court nets removed; basketball court rims blocked or removed.
  • Already in place: Volleyball nets will remain down and trail users need to remain six feet apart.
  • As weather warms: Signage will soon be added to disc golf areas with social distancing guidelines, similar to new guidelines at MPRB golf courses.

“We need to keep everyone in our public spaces safe," said Jono Cowgill, MPRB President. "Reducing possibilities for public gathering is the safe thing to do at this time. We will continue to monitor how people adhere to social distancing guidelines throughout the park system.”

In addition to extensive news and social media messages about the need for social distancing, MPRB has taken its own efforts to encourage park visitors to stay six feet apart. Within the past three weeks, MPRB has opened parkway sections in nine locations to relieve congestion on trails and deployed about 2,700 multi language signs at parks, trails, playgrounds, courts and fields, encouraging park users to protect themselves and protect others through social distancing.