Parks & Rec activities ratcheted back

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Bicyclists use the upper trail of the Licking River Greenway & Trail on a prettier day.

Trails, green spaces still open 

COVINGTON, Ky. - The City of Covington is refunding shelter reservations, canceling its upcoming Easter Egg Hunt, and making other significant adaptations to programs, activities and facilities run by its Parks and Recreation Division.
 
The moves are designed to comply with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s directive on group activities and with commonsense health guidelines designed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.
 
“During times of crisis our values become increasingly clear, and for Parks and Recreation, those values are providing safe access to public space, opportunities to connect and have fun,” Parks & Rec Manager Rosie Santos said. “But to be responsive to federal, state, and local recommendations, we are making modifications.”
 
Among the changes:
 
Programs:
  • All indoor programs, including Water Aerobics and Tai Chi, are postponed.
  • Practices, games, and leagues at all facilities are suspended until further notice.
  • The Easter Egg Hunt and Fishing Derby are canceled.
  • The Pup-up Dog Park will be rescheduled, with dates to be announced soon.
  • The 2020 swimming pool season and summer programming are being evaluated. 
Facilities:
  • Shelter rentals will be canceled, with credit issued for rescheduling.
  • The Devou Park Golf Course will remain open for now with restrictions on sharing carts.
  • General park hours and operations will remain the same for passive recreation use.
  • Families should avoid using the playgrounds, as the equipment is not sanitized.
  • Use caution and practice “social distancing” (a la 6-foot distance) when using facilities such as the basketball courts and shelters.
  • Restrooms will be closed and the installation of portable facilities (a la “Portalets”) will be delayed. Families who use parks should bring their own hand sanitizer and plan to use private restroom facilities. 
Santos said signs will be posted at facilities cautioning users and encouraging social distancing.
 
She encouraged residents to monitor Parks & Recreation’s Facebook page (@CovingtonParksRec) and Instagram account (@CovParks) for updates and details.
 
Notwithstanding the changes, Covington Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith encouraged residents to use the City’s numerous green spaces, trails, and open areas, such as Devou Park, the Licking River Greenway & Trail, the Riverfront Commons floodwall trail and others.
 
“I know that the rain has the backcountry (i.e. dirt) hiking and biking trails closed for now, but there are plenty of other opportunities to get outside and combat mental anxiety with physical activity,” Smith said.
 
All told, Covington has nearly 1,000 acres of parkland and green space spread out over 40 different parks, playgrounds and facilities, including about 700 acres that make up the expansive Devou Park and its golf course and biking trails.
 
The City directly manages about 30 facilities on nearly 200 acres.
 
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