Below is an message from Town Manager Jeff Hull:
WILMINGTON, MA — On Monday, May 18, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker announced his plans for a four (4) phased approach for returning the Commonwealth to a new “normal” as the number of COVID-19 cases declines and other indicators reflect a positive trend.
Phase 1 includes directives for the reopening of some businesses and an easing of restrictions from the “Stay-at’Home Advisory issues in late March. Included in Phase 1 is the ability to permit residents to return to recreational areas under certain conditions.
The attached 7-page memorandum from the Executive Office of Energy and Environment Affairs (EOEA) provides direction on the steps communities can take to reopen public spaces and the basis for much of the planned limited reopening that will take place on May 25, 2020.
Below are the status of the town’s recreation areas beginning May 25, 2020:
The establishment of this reopening plan has two underlying principles.
First, to the fullest extent possible make recreational spaces accessible to the greatest extent permissible via the guidelines established by EOEA. Areas that are permitted to be reopened with restrictions are reopened while those recreational areas not yet permitted to be reopened will remain closed.
Second, recognize the public’s desire to return to using these spaces and expect they will exercise responsibility and supervise their children to follow the “best practices” that have been established by the federal and state government to limit the spread of COVID-19.
It is my sincere hope and expectation that the requirements including social distancing, use of masks when distancing is not possible, and gatherings of no more than 10 people will be followed.
In the event that these measures are not followed on a consistent basis, recreation areas will be closed. As has been noted by Governor Baker many times, we are collectively in this together and will be dealing with COVID-19 for an extended period of time. The ability to gradually return to a greater level of normalcy depends upon the actions of each of us.
Yentile Farm To Remain Closed For Now
Yentile Farm Recreational Facility is a destination facility. This space is clearly the TOwn’s premier recreation area recognized by residents and non-residents alike. Opening this park now will, in all likelihood, lead to a significant policing challenge. While the multipurpose nature of the space is a virtue, opening the park now will lead to children utilizing the playground area, large numbers of people engaged in pick-up basketball games, and pick-up games on the turf field. With the expected level of usage, there will be an expectation that the restroom facilities will be open to the public. Given the fact that restrooms are a potential repository for COVID-19, there is an increased level of cleaning vigilance required. The Public Buildings Department does not have the ability to dedicate staff to daily cleaning of restrooms at this location. For these reasons, Yentile Farm Recreational Facility will remain closed through Phase 1.
School & Town On The Same Page
It is understand that recreation spaces including athletic fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts on school property are controlled by the Superintendent of Schools. After consulting with Dr. Glenn Brand, he has confirmed his agreement with the plan that has been established. The goal remains to reach the point at which the metrics used to measure progress in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases will permit a return to the full and unfettered use of these recreational spaces for their intended purposes. Patience, persistence and resolve will enable us to achieve that goal.
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