Parks are Open
Most facilities owned and operated by the City of Holton and Jackson County are closed to the public due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns, but there is one kind of facility that remains open to the public— the parks.
Holton’s city parks and the Banner Creek Reservoir grounds, for example, remain open, according to Holton City Manager Kerwin McKee and Banner Creek Reservoir manager Lu Griffiths, with both reminding all who use parks facilities to observe “social distancing” guidelines as set by state and national officials.
Keeping the parks open echoes the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s plan to keep the state’s 28 state parks, 63 state fishing lakes and more than 100 wildlife areas open to the public during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns, McKee said.
“Right now, they’re still all open,” McKee said of the city’s parks, including Countryside Park, Linscott Park, Rafters Park and the Prairie Lake grounds. “At this point, the public restrooms in our parks are also open. That will be monitored, depending on how things progress. We may close them, but not yet.”
Playground equipment at the city’s parks also remain open for the time being, although McKee said that could change as well.
“There may come a day when we’ll make a decision to put some yellow ‘Caution’ tape on those and close, too, depending on how things go,” he said.
Griffiths said while the Banner Creek Reservoir grounds are still open, public restroom facilities are not available at the present time.
“I’m not sure when I’ll have them open,” he said. “But as far as coming out and enjoying the park, we’re open.”
That includes the open-air shelter houses at the reservoir grounds, although Griffiths reminded those who use the shelter houses to obey Jackson County’s rule prohibiting more than 10 people from gathering in any public place.
“We’re going to keep those cleaned up and wiped down as much as we can,” he added.