Following the City Commission decision on Monday to reopen some of the city parks that were closed last week to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the city has released a list of facilities that will be open starting Thursday.

“Visitors must practice social distancing, proper hygiene and disinfect any contact surfaces,” reads a news release announcing the parks that will open.

Commissioners will re-evaluate park openings weekly during the coronavirus crisis, the release said.

Parks that will be open starting Thursday morning are:

Tennis Courts & outdoor Pickleball Courts (open dawn to dusk)

  • Lake Parker Park
  • Woodlake Park
  • Simpson Park – tennis courts and trail only
  • Kelly Recreation Complex – tennis and outdoor pickleball courts only
  • Beerman Family Tennis Center – Parking lot for the tennis courts and walking path will be in the northside parking lot off of Southington

Walking Paths, Trails and Dog Parks

  • 3 Parks Trail – open
  • Douglas Cook park – trail and dog park only
  • Dog Leg Woods Dog Park – open
  • Lake Parker Park –tennis courts & trail only
  • Fletcher Park on Lake Bonny – trail only (boardwalk closed)
  • Lake Crago Park – dog park and boat ramp
  • Westside Park – trail only
  • Peterson Park – trail  and boat ramp access only (boardwalk closed)
  • Dobbins Park – trail only
  • Jackson Park – trail only
  • Publix Charities Park – walking trail north of Beerman Family Tennis Center and tennis courts only
  • All boat ramps open

Cleveland Heights Golf Course

The following operations will be adjusted to encourage compliance of hygiene and social distancing recommendations:

  • Pro shop will be closed to walk-in access
  • All transactions will take place through an exterior window
  • Attendant will wear gloves at all times
  • Separation between customer and attendant, and each customer standing in line
  • Credit, debit, and cash will all be accepted
  • All picnic tables from the downstairs will be removed
  • Upstairs is closed off so people will not congregate
  • All starters and golf attendants will be called on Wednesday morning to see if they are able to return. If they are not, they will remain on the active list until the coronavirus has subsided.
  • Starters will wear gloves
  • Starters gazebo will be closed to the public
  • Ball washers will be covered with trash bags
  • No rakes in sand traps
  • Flag sticks will not be removed
  • Pool noodles will be installed in cup so that the golf ball stays at the top of the cup
  • 1 person per cart, unless they are a part of the family unit; in those cases, 2 per cart
  • Walkers welcome all day every day
  • Each golf cart will be washed and disinfected upon return

Parks and Recreation indoor facilities and offices remain closed. They include the Main Library, Larry Jackson Branch Library, eLibrary, Simpson Park Community Center, Kelly Recreation Complex, Coleman-Bush Building, Gandy Pool, Lake Mirror Complex, the Splash Pad at Barnett Family Park. 

The trail at Se7en Wetlands will remain closed due to lack of access through Polk County parks.


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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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