The Springfield-Greene County Park Board announced a delay in the reopening of the restrooms, drinking fountains, and interactive fountains because of the COVID-19 restrictions in place within the city and county.
The fountains and bathrooms are closed at the end of every October, so pipes can be drained to keep them from freezing. April marked the traditional opening of the facilities for the summer.
The Park Board is also closing bathrooms that have been open throughout the winter and portable toilets.
“This is the next step to insuring the public is safe while visiting our parks and trails,” Parks Director Bob Belote said in a statement. “We just don’t have the resources to keep up with the extraordinary restroom maintenance and disinfecting protocols necessary to prevent Coronavirus spread. So we’re erring on the side of health and closing everything but our very busiest park restrooms, which will be cleaned as a frequency of two to three times the norm. We want people to be able to safely enjoy our parks, but visitors need to be aware, you’ll need to bring your own water and plan for the restrooms and fountains to be closed. Pack it in, pack it out.”
The Park Board is leaving bathrooms open at four parks which are the busiest in the park system:
- Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park: Nathanael Greene Pavilion and Japanese Garden Pavilion
- Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park: Visitor Center restroom
- Sequiota Park/Galloway Creek Greenway trailhead restroom.
- Lake Springfield Park: Boathouse restroom
Restrooms at golf course pro shops will also remain open but the portable toilets will close.
Anyone using parks is required to follow physical distancing instructions, with park rangers and parks staff monitoring anyone who is using parks facilities.
“We really want to keep our parks and trails available for folks to enjoy, but we want to stress the need for everyone’s cooperation in following the rules to keep our parks safe,” Belote said. “This is particularly important with respect to the critical nature of physical distancing guidelines.”