Mayor Thomas Koch announced that the City of Quincy will soon be re-opening some of its recreational facilities in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Quincy’s basketball courts and tennis courts have been closed for weeks, many with bags over the rims or zip-tied nets and tennis courts padlocked. Koch’s new plan would provide residents access to these facilities as long as they followed certain guidelines with oversight from the Recreation Department.
New rules will require that: only one person or one family shoot at a hoop per time; singles tennis only; and people must register for time increments so there is no monopolizing the facility. Recreation staff will be hired to oversee the on-site registration process and to enforce social distancing guidelines.
“This represents more a management of social distancing guidelines at public facilities than it does a relaxing of guidelines,” said Mayor Koch. “We all look forward to the day when social-distancing is eliminated from our vocabularies but for now, especially with nicer weather here, we must be creative so that people can enjoy our parks and recreational facilities. People should be able to enjoy our great park system and we are developing a plan to get people outside and exercising while staying safe in the process.”
The plan will begin on May 18th and the facilities will be open from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm to allow for as much use as possible.
Tennis and basketball will be available at the following facilities:
Fenno Street, Beechwood Knoll, Squantum / Wendall Moses, Russell Park tennis courts/track, MassFields, Bishop, LaBrecque, Snug Harbor, Broad Meadows, Forbes Hill, O'Rourke, Bernazanni, Faxon Park, Smith and Quarry St., Southwest Middle School, Fore River Field, Perkins Field, Wollaston School, Cavanaugh Stadium, Flynn Playground, Marshall School and Bradford St. Playground.
The sites were chosen based on providing a geographic representation of every neighborhood. Certain facilities, like Welcome Young Park, Flaherty Park and the Pond Street Skatepark, are under construction and not available to be opened.
The City’s tot-lots will remain closed for the time being until further scientific information is available as to the duration the Covid-19 virus can live on surfaces such as plastic or metal.
Mayor Koch encouraged people to take advantage of the City’s walking trails at Merrymount Park, Faxon Park, Squaw Rock, the Crusher, and other locations. The City’s municipal cemeteries at Mt. Wollaston and Pine Hill also provide opportunities for walking and jogging while maintaining social distancing. The track at Faxon Field remains open for exercise as well.
The City’s new dog park will be opened with restrictions this June. Recreation staff will limit the capacity of the park to six people per half-hour. Dog owners are welcome to use the municipal park system, providing that they adhere to both leash and pooper-scooper laws.
The Mayor added, “This is also an opportunity to get our young people working and earning income. By opening up our parks, we are providing safe, recreational opportunities for residents and hopefully stimulating our local economy by creating income for Quincy residents. Recreation is probably the only department that has 100% Quincy residents.” He stated he hopes the data continues to improve and that this program is very temporary. No decisions have been made yet relative to the City’s summer recreation playground program. He encourages people to continue to comply with the State and City guidelines relative to masks and social distancing in order to expedite the lifting of restrictions.