Five Rivers MetroParks' Response to COVID-19

Updated 10/6/20, 12 PM

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

Five Rivers MetroParks continues to follow the directives and information from Governor DeWine, Ohio Department of Health, Montgomery County Health Department and CDC. MetroParks also is responding with the health and safety of its community, volunteers and employees top of mind.

Current directives continue to limit public gatherings to 10 people or less, and for social distancing of at least six feet to be maintained. Anticipating these directives will remain in place for some time, Five Rivers MetroParks extended select closures, cancellations, limitations and restrictions through Dec. 31 or until further notice. Please note, however, these might change, depending on directives from the Ohio and Montgomery County Departments of Health and governor. MetroParks will update this web page as the situation evolves.

You can also find the most current information — as well as navigate trails, locate park amenities and much more — by downloading Five Rivers MetroParks’ new mobile app, powered by OuterSpatial.

All Five Rivers MetroParks parks and trails are open. However, visitors should read the information below and plan ahead, because some amenities are not available. Visitors also should follow the CDC’s recommendations, particularly for social distancing and wearing face coverings, when spending time outdoors.

An overview of what’s open and what’s closed in Five Rivers MetroParks is below, and details about closures within specific MetroParks is at metroparks.org/alerts.

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

What’s Open?

  • All Five Rivers MetroParks parks and trails are open from 8 AM to 10 PM through Oct. 31, and from 8 AM to 8 PM Nov. 1 through March 31. Admission is free.
  • At least one restroom and/or portable toilet is open in nearly every park, and trash and recycling receptacles are available in high-use areas.
  • Five Rivers MetroParks’ 2nd Street Market is open outdoors on a much smaller scale so the public can buy fresh produce, meat and dairy from local farmers. The outdoor Market is open on Saturdays from 9 AM to 1 PM, rain or shine. Shoppers will need to plan ahead, as a number of precautions are in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. The first 30 minutes (9 to 9:30 AM) will be reserved for vulnerable populations only (those ages 65+ and those with compromised immune systems). The Market will temporarily close for the season in late October, depending on weather conditions.
  • Select campsites are open. Campsite reservations are required, campers need to adhere to the state’s new health and safety orders, and camping is limited to household units of 10 people or fewer.
  • Most playgrounds and nature play areas are open; the play area within the Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn MetroPark remains closed.
  • Visit MetroParks’ Nature Is Open blog for stories, videos and more about how you can stay safe and have fun while improving your physical and mental health outdoors.

What’s Closed?

  • Restrooms and portable toilets are closed in reservable and indoor areas that also are closed.
  • Drinking fountains are turned off per the Montgomery County Department of Health.
  • Some trash cans have been removed, so visitors must prepare to carry out everything they carry in, including dog waste.
  • Seating is limited following the removal of some picnic tables, swings and benches.
  • To help visitors maintain social distancing, Five Rivers MetroParks Rangers are monitoring parking. Lots may periodically be closed or parking may be limited at MetroParks locations that are typically busy, including Cox Arboretum, Aullwood Garden, Englewood East Park and Sugarcreek MetroParks.
  • The Carriage Hill Historical Farm and Possum Creek Farm indoor facilities are closed.
  • All indoor facilities, including MetroParks visitor centers, are closed.
  • Most Five Rivers MetroParks in-person programs and events have been cancelled through Dec. 31. Staff and volunteers cannot effectively host most MetroParks programs while maintaining safe social distancing. Many others require the use of shared equipment that is not easily sanitized between uses.
  • Reservations for shelters are not being accepted until after Dec. 31 or until further notice.

How can I help keep my MetroParks open?

  • 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 Dull Woods conservation area, along with the region’s more than 340 miles of paved recreation trails — the nation’s largest paved trail network.
  • Do not touch or use communal surfaces, such as picnic tables, benches, and handrails.
  • Follow the State of Ohio and CDC’s recommendation to wear cloth face coverings (masks) in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please note that wearing a face covering is NOT a replacement for social distancing and handwashing. Read more about using cloth face coverings on the state’s COVID-19 web page.
    • All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when:
      • At an indoor location that is not a residence
      • Outdoors, but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members
      • Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, a car service, or a private car used for ride-sharing.
    • The order only requires those 10 years old or older to wear a mask. Additional exclusions include:
      • Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability;
      • Those who are actively exercising or playing sports;
      • Those who are officiants at religious services;
      • Those who are actively involved in public safety; or
      • Those who are actively eating or drinking.
    • Ohio Department of Health has stated that people exhibiting no symptoms of COVID-19 can spread the disease. The goal of wearing face coverings or masks is to stop the transmission of droplets. Wearing a face covering or mask is a complement to social distancing, not a replacement for it.
  • Spend time in nature in a more private outdoor location, such as your neighborhood or back yard.

 

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