Rochester's playgrounds are open again, along with the skate park at Silver Lake Park.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department made the announcement Wednesday morning, but staff urged caution by pointing out that the playgrounds and the skate park will not be sanitized.

"Users are encouraged to wash hands before and after play and to stay home if they are feeling sick," the announcement stated. "In addition, users are required to follow all social distancing guidelines. "

While the department is relaxing the playground closures, it also confirmed that Foster Arend Beach, Silver Lake Pool and Soldiers Field Pool will be closed this summer.

The announcement stated: "The level of public congregation that takes place at aquatic facilities and the level of staff required to operate these facilities limit possibilities for opening and managing these facilities safely this summer.,"

Financial impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are spurring changes in maintenance standards throughout Rochester’s 102 parks and 100 miles of trails, and park staff has said safety of participants continues to be the top priority.

“These changes are difficult to implement, considering the pride that our team takes in maintaining Rochester’s parks and recreation system," Director of Parks and Recreation Paul Widman said in Wednesday's announcement. "The changes are in response to a nearly $2.4 million in revenue loss to the Parks and Recreation Department due to COVID-19.”

Changes include:

  • The Parks and Recreation Department will focus efforts on maintaining playground equipment, structures and other park amenities.
  • Priority will be given to trees on public property that are diseased or are otherwise in unsafe condition.
  • Mowing will take place on a less frequent basis and some areas in the park system will remain unmowed.
  • Golf courses will increase “no-mow” areas.
  • Sports fields will be kept at a minimum standard until restrictions are lifted on games and practices.
  • Some flower beds and other landscaped areas will not be maintained.