Recreation Facilities Re-Opening Plan
We are currently in PHASE 3 of this plan.
Anticipated Phasing: While the Governor announces the general phasing, the Town may not always be able to reopen in concert with the State’s plan, due to incomplete or unclear guidance. The health and safety of our residents, users, and staff is our top priority and will inform how and when we reopen.
Please review the information below for each facility and what is allowed under the current phase. Thank you!
Recreation – REOPENING
as of July 15, 2020
With Governor Baker’s four-phase reopening plan for the Commonwealth underway, the Town has opened its open space and recreational facilities and is now in Phase 3 of this plan. This document provides an outline of what facilities will be open during Phase 3. Please keep in mind that this is a fluid situation, and while there are dates associated with each phase, there is no guarantee that the Governor moves the State to each stage as quickly as indicated. This plan represents the best-case scenario and may be delayed if the public health data requires moving slower. There may also be local facilities that cannot open as quickly as the Governor’s plan allows despite the ability to do so, due to our inability to meet the safety requirements corresponding to that phase. We have installed signage at each of these facilities indicating to the public what phase we are in, the basic requirements associated with each phase, and where to learn more about federal, state, and local guidelines.
General DPH Orders and Guidelines – ALL PHASES
At this time, the following requirements apply to all outdoor activities during all phases until modified or rescinded by the Governor. Be aware that there may be specific activities, such as a certain sport, where these requirements may be different or modified.
- Face Coverings and Masks: All visitors to parks and open space, as well as those participating in outdoor education programs, should comply with COVID-19 Order 31: Order Requiring Face Coverings in Public Places Where Social Distancing is Not Possible. The order requires any person over the age of 2, whether indoors or outdoors, to wear a face-covering or mask when they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others, unless they have a medical condition preventing them from doing so. See further guidance here:
For state guidance specific to outdoor recreation, see: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-youth-and-adult-amateur-sports-activities-phase-iii-step-1/download
The Town of Danvers may choose to create more stringent requirements than those provided in the link above. Those requirements are contained in this document.
- Group Size: No groups larger than 25 are allowed to be on a single playing surface and no more than 100 people, including participants such as players and coaches, at a single field location, provided that social distancing can be maintained.
Local Rules for facility usage – ALL PHASES
- Users should sanitize their hands before and after visiting facilities.
- Do not share any equipment with others and clean and wipe down equipment before and after use.
- Physical distancing MUST be practiced at all times, (minimum of 6 ft. distance at all times)
- Please avoid facilities that are crowded.
- Avoid touching surfaces/equipment, as they are not being disinfected
- We may close facilities, or revoke field permits if physical distancing and sanitizing protocols are not maintained.
- If you belong to a group considered more vulnerable to the virus, consider additional precautions or stay home.
Sport Courts and Athletic Fields
Phase 1 – Limited Contact
- Only participants from the same household.
- Athletic fields and racquet courts open for non-contact activities (tennis, pickleball, catch, etc.)
- Basketball courts remain closed.
- No pick-up games, organized games, or tournaments
- No permits shall be issued for group gatherings.
- Bleachers, bench areas, and dug-out areas are closed.
- Users waiting to utilize a section or area of the field should wait outside the field of play until previous users have vacated the facility to ensure proper social distancing and prevent accidental contact of another’s equipment.
- Always yield to staff to allow them to perform all required work.
Phase 2 – Organized, Small-Group Practice
- Expansion and continuation of Phase 1 guidelines also to include the following additions:
- Field permits may be issued to local leagues and organizations for practice activities on our athletic fields and courts (baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, etc.).
- Basketball courts remain closed.
- No games of any kind.
Phase 3 – Return to Competition
- 25 players at most on a playing surface at a time.
- 100 maximum people at any one field location including players, coaches, fans, etc, provided that social distancing can be maintained. We realize that multiple field locations may exist at a given park, for example, Plains Park has multiple fields, such that greater than 100 people in aggregate may be present at a park.
- Groups must always maintain 20ft apart while sharing a field.
- Only if your organization can provide an approved cleaning plan to clean dugouts, bleachers, and benches after each use will they be approved for use (lining up along the fence, 6ft apart is preferred).
- Required facial coverings while at bat, on base etc. (Moderate usage)
- Game times should be staggered to avoid overlapping schedules.
- Face coverings for coaches, umpires/officials, and other officials are required, and they must always maintain social distancing.
- Organizations must provide individual, single-use water bottles to those who do not have one.
- Operators should log all persons (name, address, phone, and email address) of those who come in contact with the facility.
- All spectators must maintain a social distance of 6ft and wear a mask at all times.
- Plan for spectators and social distancing of spectators.
- Plan for facial coverings of all players not actively engaged in an activity e.g., on the bench, breaks, pre/post-practice.
- Plan to prevent/discourage groups from congregating in common areas and parking lots following events.
- No basketball, soccer, football, contact lacrosse scrimmages or games allowed. Practice only, please.
- Fully Open
As part of Phase 3, tennis courts and pickleball courts are open for single and doubles play. Please ensure that you bring your own equipment and that you touch only your own equipment. We recommend marking playing balls with a permanent marker.
Skip handshakes, high-fives, and fist bumps in favor of contactless celebrations.
Refrain from gathering in the parking lots or common spaces before or after you play. Users waiting to utilize a court should wait outside the court’s fences until previous users have vacated the facility to ensure proper physical distancing and prevent accidental contact of others’ equipment.
Senior usage (ages 50+) is reserved for tennis on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 AM to 9 AM.
Basketball courts and standalone baskets can be used only for skills and drills only. Basketball scrimmages and games are not allowed and are strictly prohibited. If for any reason the town deems basketball court rules and guidelines are not being followed, we reserve the right to close any courts that violate state guidance at any time
Playgrounds should be used at your own risk. For more information on guidelines please see: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-playgrounds-spray-decks-and-outdoor-fitness-areas/download
The skate park opened in Phase 2.
- Restrooms in Parks
All restroom buildings are currently closed. Portable restrooms may be delivered to some local parks in later phases pending permitted usage and guidance.
- Trash Disposal
The Town of Danvers has a long-standing “Carry in Carry out Policy.” In some high-volume areas, however, visitors should expect limited lidless trash receptacles.
- Water Fountains
For the safety of our residents, water fountains in all parks will remain closed until further guidance is received. Water fountains will not be active and will be bagged and signed as “closed.” Families visiting the parks should bring their own water. If using plastic water bottles, families should be sure to recycle those bottles!
- Walking Paths & Trails
Park trails remain open. Walking, hiking, biking, and running are allowable activities provided social distancing is maintained. On Town trails and paths, users should move aside and leave room for others to pass; runners and cyclists should alert others when approaching and wait for others to step aside before passing. If social distancing can't be maintained, users must wear a face covering.
Endicott Park opened to the public for passive recreation on June 8. As part of the Town’s response to COVID, the Parks hours will be reduced. The Park will open be open seven days a week, 10 AM to 6 PM.
- Passive recreation only. No pick-up or organized games of any kind.
- All buildings will remain closed to the public including the Carriage House, Nature Center, and Children’s Barn are closed until further notice.
- Until further notice, reservations of picnic areas and conference rooms are not being taken.
- Individuals and groups less than 10 are welcome.
- Picnic tables, grills, and water bubblers are not available until further notice.
- Please do not feed the animals.
Remember that Endicott Park is a “carry-in, carry-out" facility. A limited number of lidless trash barrels may be available in certain areas of the park. Consistent with other playgrounds across Town, the Playground is opened in Phase 2, with a portable hand washing station located at the entrance to the playground area. Please follow all playground guidelines.
- Community Gardens
The Community Gardens will be open during the posted hours of Endicott Park. Users should avoid sharing personal equipment. Users are responsible for sanitizing communal tools, hoses, and other equipment before and after use. Garden plots may only be shared by a single household. All other Garden Council rules are in effect.
- Dog Park
The Dog Park opened on June 8. All users should maintain enough control over their dogs via leash or voice control to comply with physical distance guidelines. Amenities, including shared water dishes, toys, and other materials should not be used by dogs or handled by visitors. Visitors should bring their own pet waste bags in the event bags are not available for use. Dog waste should be disposed of in designated dog waste receptacles or disposed of in an appropriate off-site receptacle.
Waterfront - Boating / Popes landing / Crane River Marina
- The Popes Landing boat ramp and the Crane River Marina are open.
- Parking lots are open for users launching boats, canoes and kayaks, and associated parking. Parking for the purpose of accessing coastal beaches is prohibited.
- All boat ramp and canoe launch users shall practice social distancing. Users should allow appropriate space for users of the boat ramp or launch and clear the ramp immediately when their launch is complete.
- Users should ensure they are ready to depart quickly from the ramp or dock as soon as their boat is put into the water. Users not actively launching their boat should clear the launch area.
- Upon return to ramp, users should load their boat as quickly as safely possible and then clear the launch area.
- Use of ramps for organized fishing tournaments, derbies, or any other type of gathering is prohibited.
- Loitering on ramps or use of ramps for any activity other than launching boats is prohibited. Parking at ramps for activities other than launching boats is prohibited.
- Popes Landing Picnic tables are closed until further notice.
The safe operation of recreational boats is permitted under the following guidelines:
- Only persons from the same household should be together on a boat at one time.
- No gathering or groups of persons from multiple households will be permitted.
- All users shall practice strict social distancing.
- All recreational crafts shall remain a safe distance apart. Tying boats or other crafts together is prohibited.
- All local rules, regulations, laws, and Coast Guard requirements still apply.
- Danvers Harbormasters Pump Out program is currently on hold pending further guidance.
As part of the Town’s COVID response, this summer Sandy Beach will not be guarded, and users will be at their own risk. The guidelines for reopening are listed below.
- Distance Requirements: Min. of 6 ft. distance between toweling & beach blanket groups.
- Face Coverings & Group Size Limits: 10 people (max) when seated.
- Other Beach Activities: Ball sports allowed on the beach.
All fishing is open in season with the proper permits. Fishing can be done easily while practicing social distancing.
Under the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs Outdoor Recreation Advisory Task Force guidelines, Danvers Recreation is currently offering programming this summer. The town is offering programs at three sites, Endicott Park, Highlands School, and Plains Park in Phase 3. Danvers Recreation will be working closely with the Danvers Board of Health on continuing to provide safe and affordable recreation programming for our residents.
Youth & Adult Sports
Please see the link below for detailed guidance pertaining to youth and adult sports.