A message from Urbana Park District Executive Director, Timothy Bartlett:
2020 has been a unique year in world history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We at the park district will never forget the day this past March when we closed all our facilities, canceled all park district activities and sent our staff home. In May we had to cancel all park district summer activities – a decision that we hated but had to do.
Even though we canceled the meat of our programming, our staff provided for the community. Outreach and Wellness employees filmed themselves leading exercises for people to do at home and shared tips on how to stay active. The Park District shared those videos on their social media channels.
Over 200 runners participated in the Power of Parks Virtual 5k race in July.
Anita Purves Nature Center produced several nature programs such as Backyard BioBlitz, virtual nature hikes and organic gardening programs. They then shared the programs on social media for naturalists of all ages.
Our community programs staff taught a virtual American Sign Language Class, and conducted a “Sculpture in a Bag” contest for the kids. The park district also filmed cooking classes and shared those classes on social media. The park district partnered in The Great ARTdoors with Spurlock Museum, 40North, CPD, and the Urbana Arts & Culture program.
The most popular activity during the COVID-19 closure was the park district handing out 600 “Boredom Buster Bags.” The bags contained several activities for kids having to endure a socially distant summer. And our Outreach and Wellness Staff introduced Urvana, the mobile recreation unit.
Urbana Park District offered all the above activities at no charge.
So now we move to fall. Urbana Park District is working to provide as much fall programming as possible. We won’t be able to offer all traditional programming because of COVID-19 uncertainty.
Our staff have worked with public health and are following all guidelines to make sure we offer classes, programs and events in a safe atmosphere.
The park district will offer secured park pavilion rentals on a limited basis, if renters will be able to maintain social distancing guidelines. People will not be able to rent the park for races or walks. Please note there will be no water or restrooms at the pavilions.
To read more about our COVID-19 building protocols, please see:
Urbana Park District will make COVID-19 announcements on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
We will also announce our news online at www.urbanaparks.org.
Thank you for supporting Urbana Park District with your participation in activities, your patience as we navigate a COVID-19 world and with your words of encouragement.
Always remember that "You Belong Here!"