BREAKING – Manchester closes down park facilities

 Manchester has closed down its park facilities to the public, effective Saturday, March 28, due to social distancing concerns amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Per Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman’s office, the park facilities at Fred Deadman Park, Dave King Park, Manchester Sports Park will be closed – this includes ADA Wright Center, ball fields, skate park and dog park facilities. The Little Duck River Greenway will remain accessible. Restrooms remain open and will close at dusk. 

“This is a safety precaution for our citizens,” said Bonnie Gamble, Manchester Director of Parks and Recreation.

The Recreation Center had already been closed prior to this announcement, but parks had remained open.

“Mayor Lonnie Norman announced Friday the Parks Department is working to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the Manchester Community,” the city said in a press release. “With the sunny weather and higher temperatures, people who are off work and out of school due to COVID-19 are congregating in our Parks, which remain open. Since the CDC recommends physical distancing of at least six feet and fewer than 10 people in a location, the City of Manchester is following those guidelines by limiting close contact spaces at this time. I have implemented a physical distancing awareness campaign throughout the park and city using banners to remind citizens to practice safe distancing.

“Many families enjoy our City parks and they can still do that in wide open spaces and keeping a physical distance of six feet from non-family members. Some folks are continuing to gather in close-contact spaces like playgrounds, dog parks, and the skate park. In order to protect everyone, we must close those spaces until further notice.”

“Effective Saturday, March 28, playgrounds in all parks will be closed. The skate park at Fred Deadman Park will be closed until further notice. The dog park and soccer fields will also be closed.  Dogs will be allowed on leash in all areas of the parks, and the Parks and Recreation staff asks you to clean up after them. Pavilions in all parks will remain open, but the City urges families to only congregate in groups of ten, or less, and abide by CDC guidelines. It is important to note City parks have many wide-open green spaces across the city and those spaces will remain open. Restrooms will remain open, but will be locked at dusk.”