Parks & trails remain open as an essential activity designated by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine & Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. Please observe the following guidelines for safe park use:
3/23/20 STATEMENT ON Measures taken during outbreak:
- Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms.
- Follow CDC guidelines on hygiene: wash your hands frequently, carry and use hand sanitizer, and cover your cough or sneeze.
- Maintain at least 6 feet from others. Avoid congregating in parking lots or at points of interest.
- Give warning as you pass on the trail to allow for personal spacing.
- Drinking fountains are off - please bring your own water bottle.
- Please use your own trash bag and carry out your trash if you can.
- If their schedules allow, the general public is asked to reserve the hours of 6 to 8 a.m. for park use by seniors and other high-risk populations to help minimize their exposure.
At Summit Metro Parks, our top priority continues to be the safety of visitors and employees. At this time, parks and trails remain open as an “essential activity” designated by Governor Mike DeWine and Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. The park district has canceled public programs and closed public buildings, playgrounds and nature play areas at the direction of public health authorities. Summit Metro Parks also asks the general public to reserve use of the parks to seniors and high-risk populations from 6 to 8 a.m. to help minimize their exposure.
Summit Metro Parks remains fully operational, with rangers and maintenance crews continuing to keep parks clean and safe, and the majority of administrative staff teleworking to continue to serve the public while complying with social distancing requirements.
At this time, trailside restrooms accessible from the outdoors remain open for emergency use only. Facilities closed to the public include:
The park district’s current plan is to reopen all facilities and resume programming on May 11, although that could change at the direction of public health authorities. Program registration fees will be proactively refunded for programs scheduled through May 10. Lodge and shelter rentals and special use permits for gatherings scheduled between now and May 10 will be offered an opportunity to reschedule or receive a refund.
Summit Metro Parks will continue to follow guidance provided by all federal, state and local health authorities. All further decisions will be communicated to the public on an ongoing basis as the situation evolves. Please continue to follow Summit Metro Parks online for the latest information and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/summitmetroparks) for our “At Home in Nature” series of videos and activities to remain connected to the outdoors during this public health emergency. At Home in Nature activity pages can be found here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are your parks and trails open during the Stay-at-Home order?
Governor Mike DeWine and Health Director Dr. Amy Acton have determined that parks are an “Essential Activity” to remain open during the Stay-at-Home order. Parks provide a vital service for supporting the community’s physical and mental health during this emergency.
What are “senior hours?”
The park district is encouraging those members of the general public with flexible schedules to observe “senior hours” from 6 to 8 a.m. to allow seniors and high-risk populations to enjoy the parks with reduced exposure.
Are public restrooms open?
At this time, all trailside restrooms accessible from the outdoors remain open for emergency use only. Restrooms are cleaned once daily to preserve personal protective equipment. Please remember supplies of toilet paper and hand sanitizer are provided for public use. Once our supplies are exhausted, restrooms will close for public safety.
Are your public playgrounds open?
All public playgrounds and Nature Play areas have been ordered closed for public safety.
Why are you closing public buildings and canceling programs for eight weeks?
We have been directed to do so by state authorities. We will continue to follow current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the ongoing recommendation of health officials who have encouraged us to minimize risks to the public as much as possible in the hopes of reducing the burden on the healthcare system.
Why are you canceling outdoor shelter reservations?
Shelters encourage people to congregate, which is currently prohibited by state officials.
How do we reach you while staff is teleworking?
At this time, our offices are closed but we continue to serve you. For reservations or any questions regarding one, please email our customer service representatives at email@example.com. Please be sure to include a call back number where you can be reached and a representative will get in touch with you during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 - 4:30 p.m. For any other questions, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does this mean for my reservation or special use permit?
Will you extend the deadline for collecting Fall Hiking Spree rewards? Will there be shield assistance?
- Lodge and shelter reservations are canceled through May 10 and you may reschedule or receive a refund. A customer service representative will be in touch with you to work out those details, or you may email email@example.com.
- Special Use Permits for all group gatherings are canceled through May 10 and you may reschedule or receive a refund. A customer service representative will be in touch with you to work out those details, or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summit Metro Parks will extend the deadline to ensure everyone has an opportunity to receive their rewards, and we also hope to reschedule the shield assistance previously planned for March 31. We will provide additional details when they become available.
In the meantime, you may also mail your completed Fall Hiking Spree form, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 975 Treaty Line Rd., Akron OH 44313 and we will process your rewards by mail.
Is the Gorge Dam Public Meeting scheduled for 3/31 canceled?
Yes. We hope to reschedule and will provide information as it becomes available.
Will the Mother’s Day 5K be canceled?
It is unlikely that we will be able to hold the Mother’s Day 5K as normal. Please stay tuned for more information on our plans.
Will the Spree for All be canceled?
We currently hope the Spree for All can continue, though participants should remember to practice social distancing and hike in small groups. Please stay tuned in the event that this should change.
Can I purchase SMP merchandise while the gift shop is closed?
Unfortunately, we do not currently have online shopping or the capability to process phone orders. This is something we hope to add in the future.
Please email email@example.com with any additional questions.