Status of County, City & Town Parks, Playgrounds & Recreational Facilities

by Elizabeth W. Duda and Dr. David F. Keely

Mar. 30, 2020 (last update: Apr. 8 to reflect new executive order & more closures) (York County) ESMMYC finds the below information on county, city and town websites regarding the status of local parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities.

It is important for your mental and physical health to be active. Take a walk or bike ride in your neighborhood, or head to a park in Rock Hill, Clover or York – maintaining a safe social distance of six feet or more (per CDC guidance) and heeding Home or Work Order 2020-21 (Gov. McMaster ordered South Carolinians to remain at home or work unless visiting family, exercising, or obtaining essential goods or services).

From the NCAA’s Sport Science Institute: “Regular exercise and mindfulness activities are key during times of crisis. Exercise and mindfulness activities help mitigate depression and anxiety while improving cognition and confidence. Develop a daily routine for both, even if this is as simple as a 15-minute walk and/or quiet time with deep breathing.”

That said, with public playgrounds closed throughout York County; Fort Mill and Tega Cay closing their public parks; and the state closing public access to beaches, rivers and lakes, you and your family may need some creative ideas to exercise. You are invited to the ESMMYC general meeting on April 14 in support of wellbeing including mindfulness/meditation techniques for daily usage. And below is the status of York County-area public spaces:

City of Rock Hill PRT Status (last update: 03/31/2020): Parks, Recreation & Tourism playgrounds are closed until further notice, as well as the recreation centers, Rock Hill Sports & Event Center, Rock Hill BMX Supercross Track, Giordana Velodrome and Rock Hill Tennis Center, and offices at Cherry Park and Manchester Meadows, per Governor McMaster’s Executive Order prohibiting gatherings of three or more people. To be consistent with guidance from the CDC and DHEC, the cancellation of PRT programs and events has been extended to April 30. Trails and green spaces will remain open, but we ask people to practice social distancing and keep at least a 6-foot separation from other trail users. Per the Executive Order to close public access to the state’s beaches, rivers and lakes, the kayak/canoe launch at Riverwalk is closed. (The launch at River Park had previously been closed due to construction activities.)

Town of Clover announcement to Parks and Recreation Playground and Park Users (posted 03/26/2020): Clover Parks and Recreation will close its playgrounds until such a time is determined to be safe for participants during the coronavirus outbreak. Both playgrounds at Clover Community Park and Roosevelt Park will remain closed until further notice. Clover Parks and Recreation parks, trails and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows individuals to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. The Town parks, trails, and open spaces serve as a place where people can find respite and seek peace and restoration. Please be prepared for limited access to public restrooms and per the Governor of South Carolina, there is a provision in State Law Section 16-7-10 that would allow the Clover Police Department to issue a ticket for a misdemeanor for “boisterous crowds and unruly behavior” of 3 or more people. Please use our parks responsively so that they remain accessible and benefiting to our community during these challenging times.

City of York: York Recreation Center and Complex closed to the public (as of 03/16/2020).

City of Tega Cay: In light of the public health crisis created by the spread of COVID-19 and in an effort to reduce the chances of the virus spreading, City Council enacted emergency ordinance 548 on March 15 to “temporarily suspend the use of all City parks and facilities. Parks and facilities shall be closed immediately and until further notice at such time as the Fort Mill School District closes the public schools.” The authority to enact such an ordinance is granted under State Law via Section 5-7-250 (d). All City parks are closed effective immediately. Any person(s) found in any City park will be asked to leave. In the interest of the safety of all staff and general public, the golf course, croquet court and tennis facilities will be closed until further notice beginning on Saturday, March 28, until further notice. In accordance with City Ordinance 548 signed by City Council on March 15, the Fort Mill River Access is closed until further notice.

Town of Fort Mill: All Town parks and facilities (at Walter Y Elisha, Steele Street and Harris Street parks) and the Fort Mill Community Center (Formerly Banks Street Gym) are closed until further notice. Park entrances are barricaded at parking lots. Anyone found in a park will be asked to leave.  All Parks and Recreation Youth & Adults sports programs are suspended until April 30.

The Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill closed on April 3.

York County: COVID-19 updates, operation modifications and more. It includes that Ebenezer Park in Lake Wylie closed on April 1.

For further information:

Article updates: April 2 to reflect Anne Springs Close Greenway closure; April 8 to reflect governor’s executive order 2020-21, City of Rock Hill and Fort Mill updates, and York County closures.