March 24, 2020 —In an effort to help combat COVID-19, the Town of Fountain Hills will be officially closing park restrooms, playgrounds, and other park amenities at its public parks. The closure will go into effect starting Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and will last until further notice.
“The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued warnings for people to avoid gatherings greater than ten people and other activities that may expose people to COVID-19,” said Town Manager Grady Miller. “While the playground equipment is physically safe for children to play on, the town cannot continuously sanitize the equipment to protect them from the virus. This coupled with the fact that children may be in close contact with one another while playing at the playgrounds puts them at risk,” continued Miller.
The Town recognizes that social distancing may take a toll on the mental health of residents, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing global public health emergencies. The Town also understands that parks provide a connection to the outdoors, green space, and opportunities for physical activity, which reduces stress and improves mental health.
In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order issued on a March 23 regarding essential services, Fountain Hills’ parks and trails will remain open so that residents can engage in individual activities such as walking, hiking, and bicycling. Residents are encouraged to maintain safe distances from each other while involved in these activities. Park amenities such as tennis courts, the skate park, dog park, and other amenities will be closed until further notice.
Due to the challenge of regularly cleaning and sanitizing the park restrooms, theft of toilet paper and paper towels, and vandalism, the Town of Fountain Hills will close all park restrooms at Four Peaks Park, Golden Eagle Park, and Desert Vista Park. Due to the high volume of people who utilize Fountain Park, only the main restroom facility on the south end of Fountain Park will remain open. This restroom will close at sunset so staff can properly clean, sanitize, and restock it with paper products at the end of each day.
The Town’s parks, trails, and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows residents to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide.
The following guidelines are recommended for general use of all parks and open spaces:
- Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting signs of symptoms of any illness
- Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails
- Prepare for closures of public restrooms or water fountains
- While on trails, warn other users of their presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass
- Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings and maintain proper physical distance at all times
- Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times
The Town of Fountain Hills regrets the inconvenience that the closure of playgrounds, restrooms, and park amenities will have on its residents. Residents are encouraged to visit the town’s website at www.fh.az.gov to obtain the latest news and information about the town’s response to COVID-19.