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amherstma.gov - News & Announcements

Posted on: June 9, 2020

Recreation & Summer Activities in Amherst

Image of Mill River Pool

This is an update on Town activities this summer. Please note that all activities, if they are happening, will be different than they have been in previous years. We will put in place precautions to minimize the likelihood of spread of COVID-19, but it will take a community effort of conducting ourselves responsibly for this to be a safe summer. We thank the Town staff who are taking on other duties to ensure the facilities that can be opened with proper social distancing will be opened with adequate staffing.

Camps: There will be no LSSE summer camps. Given COVID-19 related concerns and the complexity of keeping campers and staff safe as defined by the Governor’s guidelines, LSSE’s municipal day camps in Amherst will not be operating this summer. Instead, LSSE staff will focus on operating the Mill River and War Memorial pools.

Resource: https://eeclead.force.com/resource/1591618751000/Min_Req

Town Pools: Town pools will be open. The Department of Public Works has been working to ready our pools for use this summer. Our goal is to open both Mill River and War Memorial Pools by June 27th. Hours will be limited. LSSE has developed plans to safely manage these facilities and users will be required to follow specific safety protocols. For instance, those using the pools will need to arrive in their bathing suits, as changing spaces will not be open. Bathhouses at Mill River and War Memorial will be for bathroom use only. Social distancing on the pool deck will also be in place.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-public-and-semi-public-swimming-pools/download

Puffer’s Pond: Puffer’s Pond will be open. Conservation staff, supported by other Town departments, will open the main beach at Puffer’s Pond.  The North Beach area will be closed. To achieve social distancing on the beach, the number of parties/individuals allowed on the beach at one time will be limited. Attendants will be present to provide guidance and monitor usage. Watch for an announcement on the Town’s web site with more details. Trails around the Pond will remain open.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-coastal-and-inland-beaches-phase-ii/download

Playgrounds: Town playgrounds are now open.  Playgrounds are open. Residents using these structures should wash hands frequently and follow social distancing protocols of wearing masks and/or maintaining six foot distance from non-household members. The Town will not be sanitizing equipment and surfaces between uses.

New Spray Park and Playground at Groff Park: The New Spray Park and Playground  will be open in the near future. The renovation of Groff Park is nearing completion and we anticipate opening in mid- to late-July.  We will be staffing the new facility to provide guidance and information to users. Please see our web site for updates and current information about an official opening date.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-playgrounds-spray-decks-and-outdoor-fitness-areas/download

Recreation Fields and Team Sports: Recreation Fields are closed to organized team play. The Town’s recreation fields remain closed to organized team play but we anticipate that they will open for limited use soon.  For now, groups of 10 or fewer may use the fields but no scrimmages or games are authorized until the Town receives more guidance from the StateAll summer sports programs including Adult Softball are cancelled. LSSE will be looking at offering various sports clinics during the summer that are held outside and limited to 8 children at a time.

Resource: https://www.mass.gov/doc/outdoor-adult-sports-supervised-youth-sports-leagues-summer-sports-camps/download

Cherry Hill Golf Course: Cherry Hill Golf Course is Open. Cherry Hill Golf Course opened after the Governor gave permission for golf courses to open. We have reassigned full-time staff to the golf course and will not be hiring part-time staff this year. The Governor’s order has strict rules of how golf courses may operate. 

Independence Day Fireworks and Celebration. Independence Day fireworks and celebration are canceled. Please observe this important holiday safely.

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