Cities close playgrounds due to coronavirus concerns, greenspaces and trails remain open

Playground equipment at Prairie Village's Porter Park, 7301 Roe Avenue, has caution tape on it to warn people not to use the equipment. Photo credit Holly Cook.

Note: The Shawnee Mission Post is making much of its local coverage of the coronavirus pandemic accessible to non-subscribers. (If you value having a news source covering the situation in our community, we hope you’ll consider subscribing here).

As cities across northeast Johnson County take steps to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, several have blocked off access to playground equipment.

Roeland Park, Mission and Prairie Village are among the cities that are restricting access to such equipment. Greenspaces and trails remain open and accessible, however.

Although parks overall remain open, people should take precautions if planning to attend. Below are some suggestions from the National Recreation and Park Association, as shared by the city of Prairie Village:

  • If you’re showing COVID-19 symptoms, don’t use the parks or trails
  • Follow Centers for Disease Control and Protection guidance on personal hygiene before going to a park or trail
  • Prepare for limited restroom or water fountain access
  • Share the trail, but warn others as you pass them
  • Practice social distancing

The city of Roeland Park reminded residents via Facebook that benches and tables at city parks are not sanitized, and that anyone who uses the parks should wash their hands with soap and water after returning home. Other cities such as Lenexa aren’t restricting access to playgrounds at this time.

Currently, playgrounds remain open in Overland Park and Merriam, but both cities are discouraging park goers from using those playgrounds with signs. Starting today, March 25, Overland Park is closing public restrooms on site at five of its parks, as well as the restrooms and snack bar at the Arboretum.

While some playground equipment is physically roped off, such as in Prairie Village, other cities like Mission and Roeland Park are sticking to signage at this time. Below is a tweet from the city of Mission, showing a sign reminding park goers that playground equipment usage is prohibited.

UPDATE: The city of Lenexa is closing all playgrounds from March 25 until at least April 23. Parks and trails remain open.

The city of Overland Park as of Wednesday afternoon is closing its playground equipment. All parks and trails remain open, but signs posted at each playground area instruct park goers to not use the equipment. The city asks that those who go to the parks or trails continue to practice social distancing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Johnson County Parks and Recreation District on Wednesday morning that all of 21 playgrounds and two outdoor fitness equipment areas will be closed starting today, March 25. Signage is being used at JCPRD playgrounds, and signs at basketball and pickleball courts are discouraging usage.