Five Rivers MetroParks' Response to COVID-19

Updated 5/22/20, 10 AM

Five Rivers MetroParks cares deeply about the health of its employees, volunteers and community.

In its response to COVID-19, Five Rivers MetroParks is following directives and information from the Ohio Department of Health, Montgomery County Health Department and CDC to limit public gatherings to 10 people or less, and to maintain social distancing of at least six feet apart.  Anticipating that these directives will remain in place for some time, Five Rivers MetroParks is cancelling all shelter reservations and select camping reservations through September 30, 2020.

Select programs where social distancing and proper sanitizing procedures are not possible will also be cancelled. Patrons will be notified of the cancellations and full refunds will be issued in the coming days. Please contact our Visitor Service Representatives if you have additional questions. Five Rivers MetroParks may be able to revisit the timeline for these restrictions as new official directives are received.

This decision is being made now to give affected community members time to adjust plans. Details about closures can be found on MetroParks’ alerts page and on individual park web pages.

MetroParks is asking the public to help keep their parks and trails open by always following the CDC’s recommendations, particularly for social distancing, and taking the following preventative actions when using any outdoor spaces:

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from people not part of your household.
  • Limit public gatherings to 10 people or less
  • Alert other visitors of your presence on trails and step aside by at least six feet if you need to pass others.
  • Explore less frequently used parks, trails, and Medlar and Dull Woods conservation areas, along with the region’s more than 340 miles of paved recreation trails — the nation’s largest paved trail network. Avoid parks that are usually busy, such as RiverScape MetroPark.
  • Prepare to carry out everything you carry in, including dog waste, as many trash cans have been removed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Do not touch or use communal surfaces, such as picnic tables, benches, and handrails.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendation to wear cloth face coverings (masks) in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please note that wearing a mask is NOT a replacement for social distancing and handwashing. Read more about using cloth face coverings on the state’s COVID-19 web page.

Visitors also need to plan ahead for other limitations and restrictions currently in effect, including:

  • Restrooms, water fountains, playgrounds, and nature play areas are closed.
  • Seating is limited following the removal of many swings and benches.
  • To help visitors maintain social distancing, Five Rivers MetroParks Rangers are monitoring parking. Lots may periodically be closed or parking limited at MetroParks locations that are typically busy, including Cox Arboretum, Aullwood Garden, Englewood East Park and Sugarcreek MetroParks.

Five Rivers MetroParks also encourages community members to connect with nature by spending time in a more private outdoor space, such as their back yard or neighborhood.

The COVID-19 public health emergency is a serious and evolving situation. Extraordinary measures are needed to protect the public’s health and safety during these extraordinary times. Five Rivers MetroParks thanks the public for its cooperation and understanding during this time.

Five Rivers MetroParks Rangers patrol all parks 24/7. Call 937-225-HELP (4357) for Ranger assistance during non-emergency situations. Call 911 for emergencies.

Although park offices and the MetroParks main office are closed, you may reach staff by calling 937-275-PARK (7275) or by completing the form at metroparks.org/contact.

MetroParks will continue to respond to the latest on COVID-19 with community, volunteer and employee safety top of mind. Up-to-date information on MetroParks operations will be posted on this web page and on Five Rivers MetroParks’ social media channels (FacebookInstagram and Twitter).

For additional information about the local response to COVID-19, please visit the Montgomery County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health websites.

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