East Lansing set to reopen playgrounds and dog park ahead of schedule
East Lansing playgrounds will reopen June 22 after being closed for months because of COVID-19.
The city is asking people to social distance and protect themselves while they're at the playground.
"If I was going to take my child or my grandchild out to the playground," East Lansing Parks and Recreation Director Tim McCaffrey said, "I would certainly use the mask, wear the mask, and I would have the child wearing the mask also."
He said the parks and recreation department is very low staffed since the pandemic and won't be able to enforce safety precautions.
Because of that, there will not be anyone monitoring the parks.
Masks are encouraged but not required and there is no capacity set for the parks.
"We've got 80 percent of our full-time staff on 50 percent unemployment, 50 percent work and almost 100 percent of our part-time staff is on unemployment," McCaffrey said. "Or in some cases, some are seasonal staff we couldn't hire this year."
The city is evaluating when to reopen the outdoor sports complexes. As of now they won't be reopening for awhile.
"It's still not in the position where if you're having a competition you can be safely apart in a competitive situation, similar to all the other athletic programs from youth levels to obviously professional levels,"
Originally the playgrounds and dog park weren't going to be open until July and August.
Pickleball courts will reopen on Monday, June 15, as will the restrooms at Patriarche Park.
Outdoor basketball and tennis courts will reopen on Wednesday, June
17. The Northern Tail Dog Park will also reopen that day.
Outdoor playgrounds will re-open on Monday, June 22.
Outdoor pavilions and picnic shelters will continue to remain closed until at least July 13.
The East Lansing Family Aquatic Center will be closed for the entire 2020 summer season.