Five Rivers MetroParks (FRMP) will reopen park amenities, such as visitor centers and shelters, and will resume select public offerings this spring. These changes are in response to revised guidance from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.
“We are so grateful that our community has found both solace and adventure in their MetroParks during the past year,” said Shelli DiFranco, director of marketing and public engagement. “Because our visitors, volunteers and staff have followed the guidelines created to keep everyone safe and healthy outdoors, we are able to reopen amenities in the coming weeks.”
MetroParks has begun accepting shelter reservations for dates on Sunday, April 18, or later with a reduced capacity of 30% or 10 people, whichever is greater. This is in line with the Ohio Department of Health’s order for outdoor entertainment venues. Guests with existing reservations for April 18 or later will be accommodated or receive a full refund. All picnic tables will be returned to the shelters, nearby restrooms will be open and routine maintenance will be conducted to ensure shelters are ready for the community.
Visitor centers at Carriage Hill and Cox Arboretum MetroParks will reopen on the weekends beginning on Saturday, May 8. Swings and benches at such parks as RiverScape, Deeds Point and Englewood MetroParks have been returned. Likewise, the Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum MetroPark has reopened.
The summer fitness series at RiverScape MetroPark will return on Saturdays beginning May 1 — as in summers past. The weekend classes will alternate between yoga and cardio dance. The free classes will be held at the park from 10-11 am, and patrons can choose to participate virtually. Capacity for each class has been reduced to 30% following guidance from Responsible RestartOhio. Access to the activity site will be restricted and pre-registration is strongly encouraged to reserve a spot. Fitness classes are expected to run through August.
The outdoor farmers market at the 2nd Street Market reopened March 20, and will be open on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm, rain or shine (with the exception of severe weather). All vendors are set up outdoors on the Market’s south parking lot. All shoppers, vendors, and staff are required to wear face coverings.
“In the coming weeks and months, we hope to responsibly reopen additional amenities,” DiFranco said. “We’ll be in close contact with our local health department on how to safely do that.”