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April 30, 2020

Chester County parks to begin reopening on May 6

Parks Coronavirus
Chester County parks Rafał Rudol/via Unsplash

Chester County parks will be open to the public starting next Wednesday.

All seven Chester County parks will gradually begin to reopen next week, the county commissioners announced on Wednesday.

Black Rock Sanctuary, Wolf’s Hollow and Exton Parks will reopen Wednesday, May 6, while Hibernia Park, Nottingham County Park, Springton Manor Farm and Warwick Park will reopen on Tuesday, May 12. County residents who visit a park will need to practice social distancing and wear face masks, the commissioners said.

All permits, pavilion rentals, volunteer programs, and Ranger programs at county parks will remain canceled for through May and June, and the parks will have limited amenity access as they begin reopening. Residents are also encouraged to go to another park if certain ones are crowded, the county commissioners said.

“The weather is improving, and visits to all of our parks are great for our physical and mental well-being,” County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said. “But we cannot stress enough the need to continue adhering to the recommendations to stop the spread of the coronavirus – from keeping six feet apart and wearing masks, to the frequent use of hand sanitizer before, during and after visiting our parks and trails.”

The county’s three trails – Chester Valley Trail, Struble Trail and Schuylkill River Trail – have remained open during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Chester County’s decision to reopen its parks comes a week after Bucks County decided to reopen all of its park trails. Visitors to the county park trails are required to practice social distancing and encouraged to wear face masks, county officials said. County playgrounds, boat ramps, and nature centers will be closed until further notice.

Earlier this week, Pennsylvania began easing coronavirus restrictions on outdoor recreation activities when it announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips, and private campgrounds will reopen on Friday. These sites will be required to follow Pennsylvania's updated guidance for life-sustaining businesses to maintain safe safety. 

A review by the state determined that these activities can safely resume while prioritizing public health and safety. At Pennsylvania state parks, campgrounds will remain closed through Thursday, May 14.

Parks, athletic fields, and trails have remained open in Philadelphia during the coronavirus outbreak, as residents have been encouraged to practice social distancing. However, playgrounds, athletic courts, ice rinks, recreation and environmental centers, and park restrooms are closed until further notice. All park events and programs, as well as permitted park events, are canceled or postponed indefinitely.

Delaware County parks and trails have also remained open, and residents are encouraged to practice social distancing when visiting said locations. All parks and recreation facilities and programming have been closed and canceled.

However, Montgomery County parks and historic sites have been closed to the public until further notice, but county trails remain open.

New Jersey announced on Wednesday that state and county parks and golf courses, will reopen on Saturday, and visitors are required to practice social distancing and recommended to wear face masks. Parking will be capped at 50%, facilities such as playgrounds, pavilions, visitor centers, and restrooms will remain closed, and events such as picnics, team sports, and organized activities are prohibited.

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