Last night, Southborough Recreation announced the timeline and rules for reopening most of the Town’s recreational parks, fields, and courts. Here is the full announcement.
All of the park reopenings will come with safety guidelines and prohibitions worth noting. Most will reopen on Memorial Day (this Monday, May 25th). Those include most of the fields at Neary, Finn, and Woodwards school campuses. Scroll down for some schedule exceptions.
Playgrounds still closed
Consistent with the state’s phased reopening plan, playgrounds will remain closed for now:
Playground facilities are still considered high risk, high touch areas. The public is asked to avoid them for their own health and safety.
The sites are part of the state’s “Phase 2” for reopening which could be in about 2-3 weeks if things proceed well. Stay tuned.
Organized use prohibition
During this phase, youth sports, adult leagues, and other organizations are still barred from using athletic fields in an official capacity. (The estimated date for when that will be allowed is August 1st. It may be moved up or postponed “based on state and town recommendations”. Stay tuned for word on that later this summer.)
General athletic field use guidelines
Rules for field use include capping gatherings at 10 people, following state guidelines for wearing masks, keeping 6 foot distances from other visitors, giving wide berth to people you pass on paths and asking runners to warn others when approaching unseen.
If an athletic field is in use by other players, you are asked to wait outside the field until that group is done to avoid accidental contact with others or their equipment.
Users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games, or tournaments.
Some facilities/resources at the reopened fields will remain closed: tables, pavilions, public bathrooms, porta potties, and trash cans. (Trash is carry in/carry out.)
More guideline details are in the Town’s announcement.
As I noted, most open this Monday for public use. Here are the exceptions:
- Depietri field (in front of the Neary parking lot) – won’t reopen at this time. Repairs are scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
- Fayville’s field – temporarily open starting Monday. But stay tuned for a TBD closing date to allow for construction there this spring.
- 9/11 field – because this is a by permit-only use field, and permits aren’t being issued, during this phase the field won’t be available for use. To improve access to the trails behind the field, the chains are scheduled to come down on Tuesday the 26th.*
- Tennis courts – opening Tuesday the 26th with rules noted below
Tennis courts will take an extra day to reopen due to the holiday. Staff still needs to reinstall tennis nets and remove closure chains on the courts at Neary and Finn schools. Once open, there are rules for who can use it and how:
There are to be no more than 2 players per court and players must reside within the same household. This would be a Max of six (6) people inside the fenced courts at Neary, and four (4) at Finn. No sharing of equipment, no physical contact with other players. Take out what you bring in.
Last Monday, the Recreation Commission empowered Recreation Director Tim Davis to reoopen fields this Monday based on the state’s reopening plan. First, he would need to consult with appropriate safety officials and selectmen. Last night, with the announcement, Davis asked me to share his special thanks to the Board of Health and Emergency Management Team for their guidance and assistance.
*Updated (5/26/20 8:26 am): I originally wrote that the 9/11 field was scheduled to open today (Tuesday). But, I noted that based on past public use restrictions for the state leased field, I was waiting for some more detail on what will be allowed there. Recreation confirmed that the field’s use is only allowed by permit. The barriers to parking were being removed today to improve trail access at the site.