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Worcester announces Parks, Recreation & Cemetery reopening plan

For Immediate Release: 5/23/2020 4:23 pm

As Gov. Baker begins a phased-in reopening of Massachusetts, the City of Worcester announces its plans for the reopening of parks and recreation activities. The City will follow guidelines and measures laid out in the Governor’s reopening plan, which consists of four phases. All residents are reminded that, as certain activities resume, they are to continue practicing safe social distancing of at least 6 feet.

Please note that no park permits will be issued during Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan. Trash will continue to be removed from City parks.

The following either remain open or will be opened to the public:

Hope Cemetery:
• Water service has been discontinued to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on spigots through more than 50 locations in the cemetery. For Memorial Day Weekend, water will be available at the Hope Cemetery Administrative Office, with staff assisting in filling containers. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own water for plants at the cemetery.
• Maintenance and funeral operations will continue.
• Burial services will continue under the requirement that no groups larger than 10 are allowed to gather.
• Visits to the cemetery are encouraged, with social distancing required.

Tennis & Pickleball:
• With Phase 1 allowing for the use of playing surfaces for non-contact sport, nets will be installed at tennis courts starting Tuesday, May 26. While courts will start being opened, it will take a few days to have all courts operational. Equipment cannot be shared.
• Lights at these courts will be turned on Tuesday, May 26, as nets are installed.
• The Crompton Park tennis courts will remain closed until handball courts are opened.
• Pickleball is at Holmes Field.

Athletic Fields:
• Sports fields will be open for non-contact sports with no shared equipment, but not for pick-up games, organized games or tournaments.

• No groups larger than 10 are allowed to gather.
• Permits will not be issued for any athletic field until Phase 2.

• All permit holders will be required to submit a plan for approval on how they will meet CDC and Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 reopening requirements.

Trails & Walkways:
• Visitors should always practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from others and adhering to all site-specific rules, regulations and posted signage regarding permitted uses.
• On trails, walkers and hikers should move aside and leave room for others to pass. Cyclists and runners should alert other users when approaching and wait for others to step aside before passing.
• After visiting public spaces, users wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

The following remain closed to public use until further guidance during Phase 2 or as otherwise noted:

• Green Hill Farm at Green Hill Park
• All basketball, handball and volleyball courts
• The skate part at Green Hill Park
• City beaches, pool and spray parks
• Playgrounds
• Dog parks
• Public restrooms (until at least mid-June)
• Picnic areas and grills

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