Maybe it's just the pessimistic news coming out the past few days, but as the City of Kalamazoo's Parks Department announces its plans for re-opening various venues and activities, all I can think of is "fingers crossed".

The announcement Thursday is more of an update as we know some parks and amenities have already re-opened and become available again. But the big one is still closed, that would be Kik Pool near downtown. The city says there are just too many safety concerns, so Kik Pool will be closed for the entire 2020 swimming season.

But, there are alternatives. On the north side, there is the Florence Street Splash Pad re-opening today, and the Woods Lake beach in the Oakwood area reopening on Monday, June 15th.

City parks have been open for several weeks but hands-on playground equipment is scheduled to be permitted and/or re-opened on June 15th. And here's where the fingers crossed idea comes up again, the city says they can't provide hand sanitizers, so you have to provide your own. Getting everyone on the same page and playing under the same rules seems like a monumental task, thus "fingers crossed."

Driving past Eastern Hills Golf Course on Thursday, judging by the number of cars in the parking lot, there were many people golfing. The city courses are open. If you want to play tennis or pickleball, those are open and skate plazas are open, too. The City says it hopes to have nets on basketball courts attached by June 19th.

Adult softball leagues are supposed to start up on July 6th.

Picnic pavilions are supposed to reopen on June 22nd, but not bathrooms until June 29th.

It's a sign of the times, but the City's disclaimer is important to follow:

As parks, programs, and amenities reopen or resume, community members are advised to still be cautious and follow guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Social distancing, frequent hand washing, staying home when you are sick, and coughing into your elbow are still necessary to prevent the spread of the disease in our community. Changes have been made to youth programs to limit group size and otherwise prevent the spread of COVID-19. - City of Kalamazoo Parks Dept.

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