Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan reaches Phase 4 today and Champaign-Urbana area entities have made corresponding changes to their operations.
The Champaign Park District said its playgrounds — along with basketball and volleyball courts and sports fields — will reopen Friday, June 26. “We’re continuing to address how Phase 4 will affect programming and facilities and will share updates as they become available,” CPD director of marketing and communications Chelsea Norton said.
Likewise, the Urbana Park District is making adjustments as guidance from state health officials regarding the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. UPD executive director Tim Bartlett said playgrounds will reopen along with some other outdoor areas.
“We are working with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, and (administrator) Julie Pryde has approved our recommendation to open playgrounds but we’re still waiting for guidelines from the governor’s office,” Bartlett said late Thursday afternoon.
Athletic fields “could be open but we would not necessarily rent them for organized activities,” he said. “That could change later on. People can use them on their own but they would not be reserved because if we promote rentals, you’re encouraging people to congregate and that’s not what we want to do.” Trails, tennis courts and disc golf courses are open, provided people are wearing masks and observing social distancing protocols.
The park district will not reopen the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center but Bartlett is hoping to regain select offerings at the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center “maybe around July 15” for things such as lap swimming, as is the case with some other swim facilities in C-U. All other indoor facilities remain closed.
“We’re trying to be as nimble as possible and adjust as things change,” Bartlett said. Residents should check the park district’s website for updates.
Homer Lake will be open from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday with a limit of 10 guests at a time. Masks and social distancing will be mandatory. Signups will be required. The first hour of every Wednesday will be reserved for those over age 65 and other high-risk groups. For other protocols, see the preserve’s website.
CCFPD noted that many hands-on, interactive experiences “may be closed, or removed temporarily as required by the governor’s office and local public health officials. The Museum of the Grand Prairie’s Discovering Home exhibit, on the lower level, will be closed until further notice. Bathrooms and popular public areas will be cleaned on a regular basis.”