Parks & Rec Reverses Course; Will Open Playgrounds and Dog Park

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Raymond Holt for ELi

A pooch named Evelyn enjoying the Northern Tail Dog Park during simpler times.

One day after ELi’s Patty Bonito reported that East Lansing’s Director of Parks would keep playgrounds closed until at least July 13 and the dog park closed until at least August 3, reporting that generated a wave of public dissatisfaction, he’s changed his mind.

Director Tim McCaffrey announced this morning that the Northern Tail Dog Park will open next Wednesday, June 17, and the outdoor playgrounds will open the Monday after, on June 22.

McCaffrey also announced that the pickleball courts – known as a favorite of Mayor Ruth Beier – will reopen on Monday, June 15, along with the restrooms at Patriarch Park.

The city’s outdoor basketball and tennis courts will open two days later, on Wednesday, June 17.

Parks & Rec still wants you to practice physical distancing and frequent washing, and you won’t be allowed to use outdoor pavilions and picnic shelters until at least July 13.

There’s no word on the outdoor soccer and softball complexes.

The Aquatic Center will remain closed all this year. At the May 12 budget discussion, McCaffrey had told Council he had been hoping to use $175,000 of the new income tax income to get the Aquatic Center a new pool liner and play feature. But that likely won’t happen this year with the huge financial problems the City is facing in light of the pandemic.

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