Five Rivers MetroParks' Response to COVID-19
Updated 6/12/20, 5 PM
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. MetroParks also is responding with the health and safety of its community, volunteers and employees top of mind.
Current directives call for public gatherings to be limited to 10 people or fewer 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 its extending select closures, cancellations, limitations and restrictions through Sept. 30 or until further notice. Please note, however, these might change, depending on directives from the Ohio Department of Health and governor. MetroParks will update this web page as the situation evolves.
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.
- All Five Rivers MetroParks parks and trails are open from 8 AM to 10 PM, and admission is free.
- At least one restroom 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).
- 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.
- Select playgrounds and nature play areas are open.
- RiverScape MetroPark’s summertime Fitness in the Park programs, presented by Kettering Health Network, are being held virtually. Food trucks will be at RiverScape Tuesdays through Fridays from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, and the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights has resumed operations.
- 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.
- Some permanent and portable restrooms remain closed.
- Drinking fountains are turned off.
- 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 many swings and benches.
- Interactive fountains and spraygrounds are closed. Swimming is not permitted at any MetroParks location.
- 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 are closed.
- All indoor facilities, including MetroParks visitor centers, are closed.
- Most Five Rivers MetroParks in-person programs and events have been cancelled through Sept. 30. 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 Sept. 30 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 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.
- 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 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.
- Spend time in nature in a more private outdoor location, such as your neighborhood or back yard.