Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Sherwood playgrounds, Green Station reopening Monday


SHERWOOD, Ark. (News Release)- The City of Sherwood Parks and Recreation Department is preparing to open all playgrounds, pavilions and the Sports Complex on Monday, June 1. Thornhill Pool and the Splash Pad will reopen Friday, June 5, under directives from the Arkansas Department of Health. Other outdoor pools will remain closed until further notice, along with the Sherwood Animal Shelter, Duran Youth Center, Sherwood Senior Citizens Center and Summer Day Camp. Sherwood Forest and The Greens at North Hills banquet hall are open on an appointment-only basis. The Green Station at Public Works is also reopening June 1.

“While we are eager to get back to normal, we are still concerned about the rising number of cases in Arkansas. We encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing in our parks and pools so they can remain open,” said Sherwood Mayor Virginia Young.

The City of Sherwood staff will reopen all playground equipment, including the outdoor fitness equipment at Thornhill Park beginning on Monday, June 1. Pavilions will also be reopened and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, except for the large rentable pavilions located at Sherwood Forest. All basketball courts will remain closed until further notice. Playground equipment will be sanitized regularly.

“The Parks staff is working hard to safely open parks and programs following the current directives. Please be patient while we navigate these new waters and do not hesitate to call for information,” said Parks and Recreation Director Darren Austin.

The Sherwood Parks and Recreation Department is working closely with the Sherwood Optimist Club to reopen the Sherwood Sports Complex on June 1 to accommodate the club’s programs under directives issued from Arkansas Secretary of Health, Nathaniel Smith.

The directives require:
• Participants to maintain physical distancing of six feet between participants at all times, except when actively participating in the sports activity
• Screening of all athletes, coaches and staff for COVID-19 symptoms or known contact within the previous 14 days
• Face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth for everyone 10 years of age or older, including spectators, athletes, coaches and staff. Athletes must wear a face covering when they are not actively participating in the sports activity. Spectators, coaches and staff must wear a face covering at all times. Children under the age of 10 are exempt from this requirement.
• And spectator seating to be arranged to maintain a 6-foot distance between members of the audience.
The concession stand will also be open during tournaments.
The Sherwood Soccer Club has informed the Parks department that their spring season will not be completed due to Gov. Hutchinson’s directives, but are looking forward to the fall season.

On Friday, June 5, Thornhill Pool, located at 2201 Thornhill Drive, and the Splash Pad, located at 1111 W. Maryland Ave., will reopen at 50 percent capacity – 100 patrons at any one time for Thornhill Pool and 75 at any one time for the Splash Pad, respectively. Hours for both locations are to be determined.
All staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exclusions before each shift. A log of all patrons entering the facility will be maintained. Tables and chairs will be spaced out to enforce social distancing. Due to current restrictions, the
Parks Department will not host field trips, parties or large groups at Thornhill Pool or the Splash Pad.
The Parks Department is working closely with Sherwood Sharks and Arkansas Dolphins to provide youth swimming for
the area. More information is to come.
Fairway Swimming Pool and Indianhead Swimming Pool will remain closed until further notice.

Rental facilities located at Sherwood Forest, located at 1111 W. Maryland Ave., and The Greens at North Hills, located at 7400 Hwy. 107, will be open June 1 on an appointment basis. Each facility is working with guests who have already reserved the facilities to make sure they can comply with the Large Indoor Venue directives from the Arkansas Department of Health, which became effective May 18.

The directives include the following:
• Limiting the attendance to fifty people or fewer, or 33 percent capacity with an approved plan submitted to the Secretary of Health
• Seating must be arranged to maintain a 6-foot distance between members of the audience
• Face coverings are required for all persons present, except for children under 10 years of age, who are exempt.
• Refreshments may be served. However, self-service operations, including, but not limited to, salad bars, buffets, and condiment bars shall not be allowed
• Catered events are allowed with caterer-served buffets or plated meals.
• Seating must be arranged to maintain 10-foot physical distancing between tables so occupied seats are six feet from seats at adjacent tables.

“These directives will significantly impact the existing policies of these facilities, which has caused some renters to postpone or cancel events. We will be submitting plans to the Arkansas Department of Health to increase the facility capacity to 33 percent so we can accommodate as many guests as possible,” said Austin.

Parks staff is working diligently to determine if the Summer Day Camp program is feasible.
For more information about Parks and Recreation Department facilities, call 501-835-6893.

GREEN STATION The Green Station, located at the Public Works complex at 6500 North Hills Blvd., will also open June 1. Restrictions will be in place to protect residents and city employees. All items must be unloaded and placed in the designated areas by the resident. All chemicals must be in the original containers. Used oil and gas must be in containers that can be left at the Green Station for staff to dispose of or recycle. Only electronics that can be handled and unloaded by the resident will be accepted. Public Works staff will be on hand to direct residents to the correct areas while observing social distancing.
Compost is now available for all Sherwood residents. To obtain compost, residents must stop by the office to sign the log before going through the gate.
For more information about the Public Works Department, call 501-835-3288.

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