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Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announces reopening plans

Play areas, sports fields and courts will gradually reopen over the next two weeks.
Credit: David Peterlinz/KARE 11
People return to the basketball courts in Painter Park in south Minneapolis, as MPRB announces plans to gradually reopen amenities.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) has announced plans for a gradual reopening of portions of the city's park system, as the state of Minnesota moves from a Stay at Home order to the new Stay Safe order during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Under the plan outlined in a MPRB news release, 100 basketball courts, 118 play areas, 6 skate parks, nearly 500 multipurpose sports fields, and more than 120 tennis courts will be reopened. In each case, MPRB is limiting these areas to no more than 10 people. Team sports are not allowed.

MPRB asks park visitors to follow outdoor recreation guidelines announced by the Minnesota DNR, which call for social distancing of at least six feet for people outside your immediate household. The guidelines also say to avoid contact with shared amenities like playground equipment, picnic tables, and benches, and to assume such equipment has not been sanitized.

“I am grateful the new executive order encourages outdoor recreation facilities be open for families and children," MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura said in a statement. "I urge all Minneapolis residents take the state guidelines seriously, take personal responsibility, and practice social distancing in parks to protect themselves and others."

Many of the city's trails, parkways, golf courses, and dog parks are already open, or will reopen soon, along with boat and canoe launches and ten fishing piers.

RELATED: What's open (and what's not) under the Stay Safe MN order

Eateries within the park system will continue to offer take-out service, according to the MPRB news release, including Lola's Food Truck on weekends at Bde Maka Ska, and Bread & Pickle at Lake Harriet. Sea Salt will open at Minnehaha Falls on May 22, while Sandcastle will open at Lake Nokomis on June 3.

“Closing some of our park amenities these past few weeks, particularly those in our neighborhood parks, was done for the health and safety of our park guests during the stay at home order,” Bangoura said in the statement. “The new order rightly focuses on youth and families. We welcome the opportunity to reopen these park amenities to serve youth, families and park visitors who are properly social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

RELATED: Walz to let Stay at Home expire, replace with Stay Safe MN order