ROCHESTER, Minn. – Playgrounds and play structures, including the skate park at Silver Lake Park, are now open to the public.
The Rochester Parks and Recreation Department says playgrounds and the skate park will not be sanitized and users can play at their own risk. Users are encouraged to wash hands before and after play and to stay home if they are feeling sick. Social distancing guidelines also remain in effect.
However, the Parks and Recreation Department also says Foster Arend Beach, Silver Lake Pool and Soldiers Field Pool will be closed this summer because the number of people who frequent those facilities and the level of staff required to operate them is too high to do it safely.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Rochester’s city budget will also force changes in maintenance at the city’s 102 parks and 100 miles of trails:
• The Parks and Recreation Department will focus efforts on maintaining playground equipment, structures and other park amenities.
• Priority will be given to trees on public property that are diseased or are otherwise in unsafe condition.
• Mowing will take place on a less frequent basis and some areas in the park system will remain un-mowed.
• Golf courses will increase “no-mow” areas.
• Sports fields will be kept at a minimum standard until restrictions are lifted on games and practices.
• Some Flowerbeds and other landscaped areas will not be maintained.
“These changes are difficult to implement considering the pride that our team takes in maintaining Rochester’s parks and recreation system,” says Director of Parks and Recreation Paul Widman. “The changes are in response to a nearly $2.4 million in revenue loss to the Parks and Recreation Department due to COVID-19.”