EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - On Tuesday, May 12, BREC released information about its plans for Phase 1 of reopening.
Since March 17, all of BREC’s indoor facilities, playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, and large attractions (the zoo, Bluebonnet Swamp, and Magnolia Mound) have been closed to the public in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Since Governor John Bel Edwards has announced the state will move into Phase 1 of reopening on Friday, May 15, BREC is making plans to reopen its facilities safely.
BREC officials they’ve got a plan with three phases of reopening that was created after consulting with national, state, and local recreation, health, and tourism experts.
In Phase 1, the following facilities and amenities will reopen with some restrictions and modifications in place:
- Baton Rouge Zoo (Members-only opening May 18 through 20 and public opening May 21)
- Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center trails (May 18)
- Dog parks (May 18)
- Magnolia Mound grounds (May 18)
- Public restrooms in community parks (May 18)
- Recreation centers in community parks (May 18)
- Tennis centers (May 18)
- Neighborhood practice fields for individual or same household activities with groups under 10 people (continuous)
- Trails and green spaces will remain open as they have throughout the pandemic; golf courses will also remain open (continuous)
BREC says in order to adhere to recommendations and guidelines from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they will not reopen playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, fitness centers, senior centers, splash pads, swimming pools, Liberty Lagoon Water Park, large outdoor venues (Burbank Soccer Complex, Central Sports Complex, Oak Villa Sports Complex, Memorial Stadium, Goldsby Field, and Olympia Stadium), Farr Park Equestrian Center, and Independence Park Theatre during the first phase of reopening.
However, BREC will offer some virtual summer experiences and modified in-person camps, which are tentatively scheduled to resume June 8. More details are available here.
“Since March, we have worked to provide a balance between public health and providing essential outdoor activities for the physical and mental well-being of our residents during this pandemic,” said BREC Superintendent Corey Wilson. “We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust the plan as necessary. Our hope is that we continue working together as a community to follow recommendations to limit the spread of the virus so that we can move toward the full reopening of our system as quickly and safely as possible."
Click here to read the full plan for Phase 1 from BREC.
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