Shawnee outlines re-opening plans for parks and recreation

All Shawnee parks remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but playgrounds are closed until Phase 2, which begins no sooner than May 18. Above, Chloe the Shih Tzu plays with her owner, Shawnee resident Saul Silva, at West Flanders Park at Nieman and 55th.

The Shawnee Parks and Recreation Department on Wednesday afternoon unveiled its re-opening plan for facilities that closed and services that discontinued during the COVID-19 shutdown.

The plan outlines a phased approach for the Shawnee Civic Centre, programs, classes and camps, rentals of park shelters and courts, and Shawnee Town 1929. Additionally, city staff reiterated tentative plans to open the Thomas A. Soetaert Aquatic Center this summer.

If Soetart pool reopens this summer deck chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart and patrons will be required to pre-register to attend. Photo courtesy City of Shawnee.

“Thank you for bearing with us as we navigate and adapt to continuing recommendations from local, state and national health organizations,” city staff wrote in the announcement. “We are eager to fill our parks, programs, facilities and museum site with energy and laughter again.”

Across the board, city staff ask residents to continue practicing physical distancing at parks and other city facilities, wear a mask while inside city buildings, and stay home if anyone is exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

While the situation changes daily, below are tentative plans for parks and recreation in Shawnee:

Shawnee Civic Centre open for business only

The Shawnee Civic Centre is now open — for business only — from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. No classes, rentals or drop-in programs, but residents may reserve rooms, fields, shelters or programs.

Rentals in the Shawnee Civic Centre to resume in Phase 3

Rentals will resume in Phase 3, which begins no sooner than June 1. Rooms will have maximum capacity restrictions.

Drop-in programs temporarily suspended

All drop-in programs at the Shawnee Civic Centre — open gym, pickleball and bridge — are temporarily suspended. Staff is evaluating ways to offer these programs while protecting staff and patrons.

Programs, classes and camps could begin in Phase 3

Programs, classes and camps will begin during Phase 3, no sooner than June 1. Not all classes will begin at one time, and many of them will have maximum capacity restrictions. City staff will contact participants who were attending class before the COVID-19 outbreak about new class start dates.

Parks remain open, playgrounds opening in Phase 2

All parks remain open, and playgrounds will open during Phase 2, no sooner than May 18. City staff continue to ask residents to avoid using picnic tables and benches because parks aren’t sanitized regularly.

Rentals of shelters, baseball and sport fields may begin in Phase 2

Shelter rentals for most parks will begin during Phase 2, or no sooner than May 18. The pavilion at Erfurt Park will begin rentals during Phase 3, no sooner than June 1. Photo credit City of Shawnee. Used under a Creative Commons license.

With the exception of the pavilion at Erfurt Park, shelter rentals will begin during Phase 2, which begins no sooner than May 18. The pavilion at Erfurt Park will begin rentals during Phase 3, no sooner than June 1. All field rentals will resume no sooner than May 18. The city is accepting field rentals through July 31.

Soetaert pool may open this summer

City staff tentatively plans to open Soetaert Aquatic Center this summer, while Splash Cove will close because of a lack of staffing and other challenges. City staff will announce a final decision at a later date.

Shawnee Town 1929 tours may resume in Phase 2

Shawnee Town 1929 will re-open for tours beginning in Phase 2, no sooner than May 18. However, the museum store is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays.