City Announces Impacts to Summer Parks and Recreation Programming in Response to COVID-19

May 7, 2020

After careful consideration, the City of Ferndale has made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all summer 2020 parks and recreation programming, events, and activities, including Summer Camp and youth and adult sports leagues.  

The decision was made in accordance with several neighboring cities, based on COVID-19 safety recommendations by Oakland County’s Parks and Recreation Department.

According to both Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana and City Manager Joseph Gacioch, the decision was a difficult one to make, particularly in an active and event-driven community like Ferndale.

“I know this is disappointing for people to hear—for those who take our recreation classes, for the families who use our Kids Corner and park playground equipment, and so many others,” said Mayor Piana. “Our goal here is to provide the safest possible environment while keeping our park greenspaces open; we’re following the advice of health experts and doing what is necessary to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors.”

The City has closed recreation facilities and cancelled events through August 31. City leadership will continue to work with area cities, the County, and public health officials to determine the state of fall and winter programming.

Despite the current closures, Ferndale Parks & Recreation Director LaReina Wheeler wants the community to know that customer service remains the Department’s top priority.

“The residents we serve, the youth who enroll in our camps, the people who attend our events and play on our leagues and teams—they remain our number-one focus,” said Wheeler. “Our department might not look the same this summer as we work to manage the impacts of COVID, but we remain committed to customer service and we’re here for our community.”

For up-to-date information and FAQs, please see ferndalemi.gov/services/covid-19-response,or follow the Parks and Recreation Department on social media.

What Remains Open?

Main parks and trails

The City’s main parks/greenspaces and trails remain open. We urge park users to follow the recommended guidelines:

  • Do not visit parks or trails if you feel sick. This includes fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sore throat.
  • Stay at least six feet apart from other park users not part of your household.
  • Wash your hands immediately before and after visiting a park.
  • No group activities with people from outside your household.

Athletic fields
Athletic fields remain open, with restrictions: No team or contact sports—people may kick or toss a ball around, but no pickup games—and athletic fields will be not striped or marked.

What is Closed/Canceled?

Kulick Community Center
The City’s community center and its programming/amenities—Kids Corner, Ferndale Senior Group meetings, classes, and more—will remain closed through the summer.

All Ferndale Parks & Recreation events
All Ferndale Parks & Recreation events are cancelled through August 31, 2020. Staff will work with event partners to determine if an event can be moved to later in the year, but it’s anticipated that the majority of all spring and summer events will be cancelled, consistent with what is happening throughout our state and beyond.

All summer programs and team sports
Spring and summer sports leagues are cancelled, along with Summer Camp, classes, and programs.

Ferndale Dog Park
The City’s off-leash dog park will be closed at the recommendation of Oakland County Parks & Recreation. Parks & Recreation staff is working now to establish no-cost membership extensions for those with passes.  

Playground equipment, including the Ferndale Skatepark
Playground equipment, including slides, swings, and other common-use structural equipment where youth gather to play, will remain closed under County order. The City will follow the County’s order and recommendations for these amenities.

POST WRITTEN BY

Kara Sokol

Communications Director