Parks and Recreation Changes Due to COVID-19

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At the City of Salem, we take seriously direction from our public health agencies and the severity of the risk to everyone in our community. The Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Health Authority continue to advise that everyone do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities by maintaining necessary social distancing of six or more feet. 

Check the City's COVID-19 information center for all City service impacts.

Learn more about Oregon Health Authority’s guidance for recreational sports.

Questions about parks operations and use

Are parks open?

Parks and public spaces, such as sidewalks, remain open.  Where it is possible to maintain social distancing, pathways and open spaces in our parks are open.  Use of public space, including sidewalks, landscape strips, and City parks is limited to active pedestrian use including walking or other human-powered transportation, such as bicycling.

Stay healthy: If you do use the parks, follow recommended social distancing guidelines.

Are playgrounds open? Can I go to the park with my family and take my kids to the playground?

Yes. Within Salem's parks, playground equipment is open for use.  Please play safe. 

Families should keep up to date with this rapidly evolving situation through the Center for Disease Control, Oregon Health Authority, and county health agencies. For more information on how to protect you and your child's health, please visit Oregon Health Authority.  

Are tennis courts open?

Salem's tennis courts re-open May 30.

Salem welcomes you to return to tennis courts at:

  • Bush's Pasture Park
  • Woodmansee Park
  • Highland Park
  • River Road Park
  • Nelson Park
  • Sumpter Park

Find your court here: https://www.cityofsalem.net/activities

We can re-open tennis courts because playing tennis is not a contact sport (or shouldn't be!), social distancing can be maintained by all players on the court, and while you may play really well, our courts aren't set up to draw crowds of spectators.

 FYI: at Orchard Heights Park, tennis courts are closed for reconstruction through the summer.

Can we play other sports at parks?

Yes.  As of Marion and Polk counties entry into Phase II, social distancing is encouraged at basketball courts, at baseball diamonds, and in other areas of parks.

Are dog parks open?

Yes.  Social distancing is encouraged at dog parks within Minto Brown Island Park and Orchard Heights Park. Elsewhere in Salem parks, dogs are encouraged on-leash.

Is anything in the parks closed?

Yes. Splash pads are closed for this summer.  Also, this summer, due to restrictions on number of people gathering, we won't be hosting Fourth of July celebration or Movies in the Park in the Riverfront Park Ampitheater.

What recreation programs are being offered?

As of Marion and Polk counties entry into Phase II, Salem will offer the following youth recreation programs as early as June 29:  For the most up to date program information go to: egov.cityofsalem.net/ParksRec/Activity

Sign up here: https://www.cityofsalem.net/recreation

In-person programs:

  • Martial Arts
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Coyle Outside
  • Summer Parks
  • Golf
  • Skyhawks
  • Junior Ranger
  • STRIDE 5K
  • Softball/Kickball Programs (may open as early as June 21) For the safety of players and spectators, spectators will be prohibited.  Social distancing will be maintained within the complex, on the sports diamond and in dug outs.  Balls will be sanitized and segregated to avoid sharing of balls.   

Virtual programs:

  • LEGO Camp
  • Kidz Love Soccer
  • Kids Running/Walking Club (TBD) 

For all programs, Salem will operate under Oregon Health Authority guidelines including enhanced sanitation, health and safety measures such as:

  • Symptom surveys will be conducted
  • Easy access to handwashing facilities, tissues, hand sanitizer and garbage receptacles will be available; Frequent handwashing will be encouraged
  • Equipment and highly touched surfaces will be sanitized several times a day
  • Equipment will be designated to participants to minimize the sharing of equipment
  • Staff and participants will be reminded to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow
  • Face coverings will be encouraged
  • Staff will work with the same group of participants each day of day camp
  • Participants are encouraged to bring their own food and beverages.  Food and beverage items will not be shared.

This summer, we will not be offering drop in programming, all-comer track and field meets, baseball and softball camp, or mini-soccer for 3-4 year olds with a parent.

Have camping restrictions changed for Wallace Marine and Cascades Gateway parks?

Yes. To reduce the impact of the public gathering ban, the City Council has suspended the restrictions on maintaining a campsite in all unimproved areas of Wallace Marine and Cascades Gateway parks, with the following rules:

  • Individuals and groups of less than 10 people can maintain campsites but remain subject to all other laws and City park rules.

  • Campsites must be separated by at least 50 feet and must be at least 50 feet from any improved area of the park and from other abutting properties.