Mon July 13, 2020
DeKalb, IL- On June 22nd, the Phase 4 guidelines as part of the Restore Illinois Plan, were released with the earliest effective date of June 26th. This was music to the community’s ears’ and a strong indicator of how well DeKalb has done these past few months in following safety guidelines put forth by state and local health officials in response to COVID-19.
The region began practicing the new guidelines on the 26th and staff have been working on reopening amenities throughout the District. Patience from the public has been key as staff navigates the new protocols and ensures that best safety practices are put in place.
As of June 29th, playgrounds have reopened with the return of swings and play equipment. Volleyball courts at Lions Park opened back up, while basketball courts remain closed at this time. The dog park and skate park at Katz Park are now open. Park benches, picnic tables, and grills may be used. Park shelters may be rented for groups up to 50 people or fewer.
Outdoor recreational events may resume in gatherings of 50 or fewer, with multiple groups permitted if proper social distancing (30 feet between groups) and group management can be enforced. Select Park District events such as Movies-in-the Park will start back up on July 24th at Katz Park but be altered to a drive-in movie experience featuring the family-friendly Disney movie, Frozen 2.
Facilities such as the Terrace Room at Hopkins Park Community Center and the Clubhouse at River Heights are available for rent and may operate at a maximum of 20% of facility capacity, as long as it is in groups of 50 or fewer. Restrictions such as required face coverings and no dance floor are some of the rental protocols. Venue furniture will be placed 6 feet or more apart. Live music is permitted but performers should wear face coverings where possible and the use of barriers between singers and customers will need to be considered. Haish Gymnasium will not open to the public at this time, but District staff is looking at a possible date in the fall.
Recreational sports activities may resume which includes drills, practices, lessons, and competitive gameplay, such as tournaments. Adult Summer Softball will resume starting on July 13th. Youth baseball, girl's softball, and indoor soccer will start back up in early August. Summer Horizons Day Camp will now allow 15 campers per group area.
“The new guidelines are important, as they will ensure we can stay in Phase 4 and offer more programs to the public,” stated Superintendent of Recreation, Grug Bruggeman. “It’s a challenge and certainly may alter the way programs are offered until we can reach Phase 5, but we welcome the challenge. Anything we need to do to keep the public safe, but still offer that much-needed recreational relief.”
The Hopkins Pool Kiddie Pool area is open with restrictions, while all other areas of the pool remain closed. DeKalb Park District is offering indoor swim lessons, lap swim, and open swim at Huntley Middle School Pool.
DeKalb golf courses now permit two people per cart and both the ProShop and Clubhouse are open with limited capacity. The annual Golf Fore the Kids Scholarship Golf Outing has been rescheduled to take place Monday, August 3rd.
Although we may be on a sliding scale of phases for the foreseeable future until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, Phase 4 is the closest to “normal” that our community has seen in over three months. It is essential that the public continues to practice safe, physical distancing, and wear a face-covering where applicable. Keep up-to-date with announcements and register for programs/events at dekalbparkdistrict.com.