BUFFALO, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the more than 60 playgrounds and fitness stations located throughout the City of Buffalo will reopen on Friday, July 10.
“We want our City’s youngsters to be able to enjoy our playgrounds, but our first priority has to be the health and safety realities we continue to face in light of the COVID-19 virus,” Mayor Brown said. “For public safety, please wear a face covering and maintain at least six feet of distance between each child not in the same household.”
City playgrounds are cleaned weekly, however, play equipment is not sterilized. If parents or their children feel sick, they are asked to stay home. Playground users are also asked to wash their hands frequently, including before and after using play equipment. Signage will be posted at all playgrounds and fitness stations with health safety reminders.
Mayor Brown also announced that the City’s seven outdoor pools will remain closed this summer, citing the difficulties of ensuring social distancing in the water, locker rooms and on pool decks.
“This is not an easy decision to make because our pools are such a popular summer attraction, but again the health and safety of our residents has to come first,” Mayor Brown said.
The City opened three of its 10 splash pads on June 22nd and is evaluating the opening of additional sites. “We are evaluating how the social distancing and crowd restrictions that are in place at the splash pads at MLK, Centennial and Roosevelt parks can be implemented at our smaller water attractions. If that’s possible, we hope to open additional splash pads,” Mayor Brown said.
The splashpads at MLK, Centennial and Roosevelt parks are open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Labor Day Weekend, weather permitting.
In keeping with updated New York State COVID-19 sports and recreation guidelines, the City is accepting applications for certain youth sports, such as baseball, softball and soccer, which will be allowed to start on Monday, July 6.
“We plan to phase in use of park sports facilities, so available diamonds and fields will initially be restricted to 50 percent capacity at each park. At this time, we are focused on ensuring youth leagues have the fullest opportunity to play and will evaluate field availability for adult sports leagues after the summer youth program schedules are complete,” said Andy Rabb, Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Recreation.
Rabb also reminded residents that the City is accepting applications for picnic shelters. Applicants are restricted to rental of a single shelter for groups of 25 people or less. Park bathroom facilities will remain closed until further notice, with portable toilets now available.
Park shelter applications are available on the City website at: www.buffalony.gov/364/Park-Rental-Events-Permit.
All basketball courts and outdoor hockey courts will remain closed until further notice. City tennis courts are open at 50 percent capacity on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Delaware Park, South Park and Cazenovia Park golf courses are open. Tee times can be reserved through the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy at: www.bfloparks.org/golf.
All City parks remain open for passive use from sunrise to sunset, with visitors asked to follow social distancing practices. All park activities are prohibited after dark.