COVID-19 Updates: Parks
Updated Monday, July 6, 2020:
City of Fairfield Announces Summer Concert Series Plans: After reviewing this most recent data, with the most concerning information regarding zip code 45014, we will remain diligent with our community’s safety and extend the delay of our Summer Concert Series for another two weeks. We will continue to monitor the data and revisit a July 23 re-opening of our shows.
Read the full release at https://www.fairfield-city.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=132
Updated Friday, June 5, 2020:
Updated Wednesday, June 3, 2020:
A letter from Tiphanie Howard, Director of Parks and Recreation regarding Fairfield Aquatic Center:
City of Fairfield Community Members,
First and foremost, on behalf of my amazing staff and myself, we would like to thank you for all of the years you have supported the Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department through visiting and participating in all of our programs, facilities, events and parks that we enjoy providing to you. Serving you is our passion – it’s why we do what we do!
As we all navigate through this pandemic together, it is important to understand that our team has been focused on providing a safe and enjoyable experience for you by following the protocols that are being issued by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). If you have recently visited the Bait House at Marsh Lake or either one of our golf courses, you have experienced first-hand, the difference in the way we are serving you. These requirements have been systematically unveiled over the last few weeks by the ODH and can be found on their Ohio Coronavirus website under the tab “Responsible RestartOhio”.
Our team has been evaluating these requirements on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis in order to understand what we must follow in order to re-open our facilities and programs. What we are finding is that some of these requirements are prohibitive in nature and provide no other alternative but to close certain aspects of our operations, more specifically, the Fairfield Aquatic Center. After reviewing these specific protocols, concerns generated with our ability to comply with the strict guidelines, including:
• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces every two hours and shared objects each time they are utilized. This would include at a minimum the bathrooms, showers, lockers, benches, deck chairs, picnic tables and swimming vests. It would be nearly impossible to manage cleaning and disinfecting of these items to comply with the ODH/CDC guidelines, unless a complete closure of the facility was conducted every 2 hours.
• Disabling features that limit the ability to social distance or those that promote gatherings both in and out of the water, such as the slide and sprayground area. Additionally, masks would need to be worn in all pool areas when not actively swimming, such as the concession area and deck.
• Reduced attendance of patrons entering the facility. The Aquatic Center has, on average, 450-500 patrons per day. The requirement from the ODH guidelines would reduce that number to just 120 patrons.
An exhaustive list of requirements and concerns were presented to the Parks and Recreation Board on May 19 and to the City Council on May 25, 2020. Under the ODH plan, the measures in which the city would have to take in order to comply for opening the Aquatic Center would negatively impact our operations, resources and, most of all, the experience that we are providing to our community. The unanimous conclusion between staff, council and the board was that the ODH and CDC requirements are prohibitive in nature in order to open for 2020 Season.
Understanding that the Fairfield Aquatic Center is a cherished summer destination, this was not an easy decision for any of us to make. We understand the disappointment among our supporters, but we are confident that it was the right decision. We hope this letter has been informative and helpful for you to gain insight into our decision-making process with respect to the difficult decision not to open the pool.
Tiphanie Howard, CPRP
Director of Parks and Recreation
Updated Friday, May 29, 2020:
Updated Monday, May 15, 2020:
While the Governor has recently announced that certain aspects of our operations can open, he has not announced under what restrictions we would be operating. Once the restrictions are announced, we will review them and make our decision to re-open based on if we can safely and reasonably comply with all measures that are being set forth.
Providing a safe environment for our visitors is our priority. Our staff has been very diligent with staying in touch with local and state authorities during this process and will continue doing so throughout the remainder of the pandemic.
Our passion for creating connections is what builds our community. We are focused on getting back into the connection business and committed to getting there safely.
Updated Friday, May 6, 2020:
Parks and Recreation Department: Modifications and Cancellations
Fairfield joins other community parks and recreation agencies in making very difficult decisions regarding their summer camps, aquatics center, summer concerts, and other summer activities. To comply with public health directives from Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, the City of Fairfield is rescheduling, modifying and cancelling many summer programs.
Tiphanie Howard, Fairfield Parks & Recreation Director, explained the City’s process, “It is difficult to support public health directives, meet the needs of the community, and balance our fiscal health. We took a common sense approach and our team is here for you. I believe that we can meet the needs of our community in a way that is administratively sustainable so please come to our parks to find peace, well-being, and restoration. We are also launching a ‘Virtual Community Arts Center’ that will include free art, education, performance, and fitness resources on the City website.”
Most of the department’s activities and facilities will continue to be impacted by COVID-19 directives including:
- Red, White & KaBOOM: Fireworks will take place at 10:00 pm on July 3, 2020. Parks will close at dusk and there will be no organized activities on City property. The team is adjusting the display so that fireworks can be viewed at a greater distance. The soundtrack will stream live on the radio.
- Fairfield Aquatics Center: The pool will remain closed and will not open this season. Season passes purchased before April 30, 2020 will be extended into the 2021 season: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Pools-Aquatic-Centers.pdf
- FurField Dog Park is currently closed per CDC guidelines on pets, which strongly advises against taking dogs to dog parks or having them interact with other dogs and humans: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/pets.html
- Marsh Lake Bait House: The bait house will re-open on May 12 with restrictions in order to meet health order mandates. Visitors may fish and launch their boats (canoes or kayaks only, life jacket must be worn at all times) free of charge at Marsh Lake. All fees are waived for the remainder of the 2020 season. Transportation to fishing locations will not be provided and operating hours will be limited. Season passes that have been purchased before April 30, 2020 will be extended into the 2021 season.
- Fairfield Greens Golf Courses are OPEN. Visit GolfFairfieldGreens.com for the list of conditions. CDC Guidelines can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Golf-Course-Operator.pdf.
- Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony: The traditional parade and event is cancelled. Staff is planning a private ceremony that will be aired on TV Fairfield and Facebook Live. The event will include special recognition of our veterans and their families.
- Summer Concert Series: The Thursday Groovin’ on the Green and Friday at the Green concerts for the month of June are being rescheduled for later this summer. Dates are not yet set. Staff will evaluate whether the City will be able to host concerts later this summer pending updated health orders.
- Village Green Farmers Market: Pre-orders only. Orders can be picked up during designated times on Wednesdays beginning May 6.
- Summer Camp: All camps are cancelled until June 15. Full-Day summer camps (Fun and Adventure Camps) have been completely cancelled for the entire summer. Staff is evaluating whether part-day camps will continue as planned after June 15: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Day-Camps.pdf
- Movies in the Park: May and June movies are cancelled. Staff is evaluating whether Movies in the Park will continue after June 30 pending public health directives.
There are many more recreational opportunities available throughout our parks system with our most recent efforts in providing virtual and individual experiences. The staff have planned a plethora of activities, with theme weeks, that can be found on the “Virtual Community Arts Center” page of our website. Please follow us as we plan these activities to make this summer enjoyable, despite our current situation.
Parks & Recreation staff are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to answer any questions via phone at 513-867-5348.