While most of Elk River’s city facilities are currently closed to the public in response to COVID-19, our parks and outdoor open spaces remain open for public use as they are an essential resource for the health and wellness of our residents. While parks remain open, all playgrounds/play structures are closed following Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-20 on March 25, 2020. This precaution is necessary as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the length of time Coronaviruses can live on surfaces like metal, plastic, aluminum, wood, etc. to span anywhere from two to five days.
That being said, safely enjoying city parks and trails during this time is encouraged and the National Recreation and Park Association offers the following tips to practice social distancing while doing so:
- Do not use parks or trails if you are feeling ill
- Observe the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from others at all times
- Avoid social gatherings at parks including picnicking, sports and other group hangouts
- Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and after visiting parks or trails
- Share the trail and warn other users of your presence and as you pass
- Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms and/or water fountains
Don’t just stop at exploring a few city parks during this time - especially when Elk River has so many awesome outdoor amenities. Stop by one of the temporary mailboxes located at Woodland Trails Regional Park, Hillside Park (when reopened in mid-April once trails dry out), Trott Brook Park, Orono Park and Rivers Edge Commons Park and grab your very own Elk River Parks Map. These pocket-sized park guides offer the location of all 54 city parks including a detailed list of the amenities found at each location. The map is also available on the city’s website which is available for viewing and download.