Many of our residents have inquired as to when our recreational facilities will reopen.  Well!  Here is an update for you provided by our recently appointed County Commissioner, Earl Poleski.  This comes by way of our Assistant  Parks & Rec. Director, Kyle Lewis.  Right, as it were, from the horse’s mouth!

TO:                  Jackson County Parks Board

Cc: Mike Overton, County Administrator; Christopher Bolt, Assistant County Administrator

FROM:             Kyle Lewis, Deputy Parks Director

SUBJECT:         Weekly Report

Date:           June 4, 2020

Facilities Opening: With the Stay at Home order restrictions eased earlier this week, I wanted to communicate our plan for re-opening. I sifted through the Executive Order and the below guidelines impact our park operations.

  • Outdoor social gatherings and events among persons not part of a single household are permitted, but only to the extent that the gathering or event does not exceed 100 people, and people not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another.
  • Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, outdoor parks and recreational facilities may be open, provided that they make any reasonable modifications necessary to enable employees and patrons not part of the same household to maintain six feet of distance from one another, and provided that areas in which social distancing cannot be maintained be closed, subject to guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That said, our restrooms, playgrounds, basketball courts, and picnic shelters are all in the process of being re-opened. The goal is to have these amenities available by June 8. Restrooms may be open as early as June 5.

Cascades Golf Course: All leagues have now started play as of last week. Overall we gained two new leagues this year. Both the golf course and driving range have been extremely busy, especially on weekends.  Our staff tried the cart dividers that we purchased to allow two people per cart, but due to manufacturer defect they were not a successful option. The dividers were returned and we will receive a full refund. The Michigan Golf Alliance has confirmed with the Office of the Governor that two riders are allowed per golf cart starting June 8 in accordance with restaurant regulations. Alcohol sales may begin June 8, for on-course consumption, and the clubhouse may open beginning on June 8 per restaurant and bars guidelines.

The Cascades Falls will open Friday, June 5. We will resume regular hours of Wednesday through Sunday, 8-11 p.m.  Wednesday Family concerts are cancelled for June, and likely July, but Saturday evening Rotary Bandshell concerts will go on as scheduled, beginning June 13, as outdoor gatherings of 100 or less are permitted.

Campgrounds: We have the go-ahead to open campgrounds and we will plan to open both Pleasant Lake and Swains Lake campgrounds on Thursday, June 11.  

Splash Pad: We still need further clarification for re-opening, and I am working with our Environmental Health Director to determine timelines. Public pools are able to open on June 8, but this may not include splash pads (because chlorine is not present).

Campgrounds and Splash Pad: There are still two facilities that need further clarification for re-opening, and I am working with our Environmental Health Director to determine timelines. Public pools are able to open on June 8, but this may not include splash pads (because chlorine is not present). We are also awaiting further clarification on campgrounds, but we anticipate being able to open the week of June 8. Staff are standing by and prepared to open.

Park Maintenance Heroes: I saw this great article online regarding the importance of Park Maintenance workers during this pandemic. Our staff have definitely played an essential role in the health and well-being of the community the last few months (and, always). Please take a moment to read:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/invisible-essential-park-maintenance-hero-michael-kirschman

 

Fair Food Rally/Drive-In Movie: Our staff have been putting together details for a Fair Food Rally/Drive-In Movie event for June 19-21 at Keeley Park. The Fair Food rally has been done quite a bit at similar fairgrounds and has been very successful. Denise has lined up 10 food vendors, including Fiske, Pizza Sam, Junk Yard Dog, Mary’s Ears, DJ Concessions, Popcorn from Beach Concessions, Nagels, and Randy’s BBQ.

 

We already had plans for our annual Movies in the Park at the Cascades this year, and the drive-in style is a modified version to comply with current guidelines. The movie will start around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, and Onward will be shown. We are able to accommodate approximately 100 vehicles, and the cost per vehicle is $20.

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