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Summer changes coming for parks across the Twin Cities

Leaders in several municipalities across the metro are laying out restrictions when it comes to overpopulating certain facilities during the summer months.

MINNEAPOLIS — I think we can all agree that summer is the season many Minnesotans live for. 

However, as we inch closer to days spent outside and warmer weather, the uncertainties surrounding the spread of COVID-19 will potentially change summer as we know it. 

Leaders in several municipalities across the metro are laying out restrictions when it comes to overpopulating certain facilities during the summer months.

In Minneapolis, the Park and Recreation Board will close all 12 beaches and 60 plus swimming pools. It's a decision they’re basing off data. 

"When we look at the curve right now that was kind of explained by the governors office, the curve really goes into the middle of July or the beginning of July, its a 14 week period," said Minneapolis Park and Rec Superintendent Al Bangoura. 

Taking that into consideration, Bangoura wanted to make one thing clear Saturday afternoon to alleviate some confusion regarding what this really means. 

"We’re not closing parks. Our playgrounds, our basketball courts, our fields are open," said Bangoura. 

The new changes are all about individual spacing. 

"So people can go out there and enjoy our lakes as they typically do, they can be fishing off our piers, they can be paddle boarding, you know there’s different things they can do in our lakes so that’s not closed," said Bangoura. 

South of the metro, in Bloomington, leaders there will have park supervisors out everyday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. promoting safe habits. 

“In order to maintain safety and continue to help flatten the curve we want to be out there in the parks actively monitoring and keeping things safe," said Bloomington Recreation Manager Alison Warren. 

Over in St. Paul certain roads around parks are now being blocked off to give park goers extra space to practice social distancing.

So When it comes to flattening the curve city leaders say it’s a shared responsibility and Minnesotans agree. 

"We want to get through this and do our part to keep everybody safe … people are dying," said St. Paul Resident Anne Dussol. 

So if that means changing up the way we do summers around here, in order to save lives, we’re in this together. 

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