PUBLIC PARKS AND COVID-19

March 27, 2020

The City of Ottawa Public Works Department discourages use of public playgrounds and shelter’s in city parks to help minimize the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19).

All parks and trails remain open and the public is encouraged to get out and enjoy the outdoor air and walking and biking activities.  While being outside and using parks and trails is encouraged, the use of playgrounds, exercise equipment, and park shelter’s is discouraged.  The Franklin County Stay at Home order does limit public gatherings of 10 people or more whether inside or outside. The use of social distancing of 6 feet of space is the one of the best practices to use to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Anyone with questions on the Franklin County Stay at Home Order should call the Franklin County Health Department.

Ottawa parks and trails are open and as people use them for physical/mental health and fitness at the same time we all endeavor to limit the spread of COVID-19. Here are some guidelines to observe:

• Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.

• Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.

• Warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times.

• Park users will find public restrooms closed in Forest Park— be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.

• Bring water or drinks — public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.

• Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers and your fellow citizens

• Under the Stay at Home order issued by the Franklin County Health Department, no reservations will be taken for park shelters or parks until April 25, 2020.

No reservations may be made for parks shelters or parks from March 26 through April 25. After the Stay at Home Order issued by Franklin County Health Department is lifted, we will be taking reservations and resume normal operations. For questions regarding park reservations, please call 785-229-3630 Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.   Please watch the City of Ottawa Facebook page and the City of Ottawa website for more information.