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Recreation Facilities Re-Opening Plan

We are currently in PHASE 2 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 information below for each facility and what is allowed under the current phase.  Thank you!

Recreation – REOPENING

as of: June 2, 2020

With Governor Baker’s four-phase reopening plan for the Commonwealth now underway, the Town is going to begin opening its open space and recreational facilities over the next several weeks in anticipation of entering Phase 2 of his plan.  This document provides an outline of what facilities will open during what phase.  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 will be installing 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At this time, the following requirements apply to all outdoor activities during all phases until modified or rescinded by the Governor.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:
  • Group Size: No groups larger than ten are allowed to gather: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march31-2020-assemblage-guidance/download

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 if physical distancing and sanitizing protocols are not maintained.
  • If you belong to a group considered more vulnerable to the virus, consider additional precautions

Sport Courts and Athletic Fields

Phase 1 – Limited Contact

  • Only participants from 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 open.
    • No games of any kind.
  • Continued sanitizing and cleaning protocols.

Phase 3 – Return to Competition

  • Group size and social distancing requirements adjusted per Governor’s reopening plan.
  • Other guidelines to follow.

Phase 4

  • Fully Open

NOTES

As part of Phase 1-3, tennis courts and pickleball courts are open for single matches only.  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 Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 AM to 9 AM.

Playgrounds

While the Governor’s plan permits us to open playgrounds in Phase 2, the cleaning protocols associated with the reopening are not feasible to institute Town-wide.  Therefore, playgrounds will remain closed until further guidance is received from the State.  More information on guidelines: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-playgrounds-spray-decks-and-outdoor-fitness-areas/download 

Skate Park

At this time, the skate park is scheduled to open in Phase 2.

Amenities

  • 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.

Endicott Park

Endicott Park will open 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 scheduled to open in Phase 2, 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 will also open 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.

Recreational boating

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.

Sandy Beach

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.

Phase 1

  • Beach open for Passive Recreation
  • Distance Requirements:
    • of 12 ft distance between toweling & beach blanket groups
    • Group Size Limit: 10 people max. when seated
  • No ball sports (volleyball, spike ball, Kadima, bocce, etc.)

Phase 2

  • Distance Requirements: Min. of 6 ft. distance between toweling & beach blanket groups.
  • Face Coverings & Group Size Limits: May be modified based on updated guidelines.
  • Other Beach Activities: Ball sports allowed on the beach.

Phase 3

  • Align minimum distance, group size and face-covering requirements with DPH guidance
  • Walking Access: single file accessways possibly eliminated.

Phase 4

  • Fully Open

Fishing

All fishing is open in season with the proper permits.  Fishing can be done easily while practicing social distancing.

Recreation Programming

Under the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs Outdoor Recreation Advisory Task Force guidelines, Danvers Recreation will be allowed to operate programming this summer.  While the guidelines will permit some activities in Phase 2, the Town is aiming to offer as close to normal as possible, beginning in Phase 3.  Danvers Recreation will be working closely with the Danvers Board of Health on providing safe and affordable recreation programming for our residents.

Danvers Recreation released our Summer Recreation brochure in mid–May for informational purposes. We are planning to start taking program registrations, online, starting in Phase 2, with programming starting in Phase 3.

Danvers Recreation Department
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