CINCINNATI - COVID-19 hasn’t closed City of Cincinnati Parks but it has closed many park restrooms, at the same time officials are telling us that hand washing is essential to stopping the disease from spreading.
Staffing cuts make it impossible to keep all of the parks’ restrooms clean on an ongoing basis, a parks spokesperson said.
“We’ve lost folks that have been put on temporary leave,” said Rocky Merz. “We’ve got less people, but we have more duties to do … Cleaning the restrooms every two hours is an example.”
Restrooms remain open at 11 of the more than 50 Cincinnati Parks facilities from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, according to the Parks website. They are:
• Smale Riverfront Park at Walnut Street
• Twin Lakes at Eden Park
• Ault Park Heekin Overlook
• Burnett Woods Bandstand
• Alms Park Pavilion
• Mt. Echo Park Pavilion
• Mt. Airy Entrance
• Mt. Airy Dog Park
• McEvoy Park
• Washington Park (maintained by 3CDC, hours may differ)
• Fountain Square (maintained by 3CDC, hours may differ)
All water fountains in Cincinnati Parks are shut off for the same reason.
“With water fountains, that’s also a place that have surfaces that are frequently touched, and we do not have enough staff at this moment to be able to keep them clean on a regular two-hour basis,” Merz said.
Parks staffing and other city services have been cut by the prospect of an $84 million budget deficit in the next fiscal year due to revenues lost to the COVID-19 economic shutdown.
While park trails remain open, the threat of the disease has closed popular indoor attractions like Krohn Conservatory and Carol Ann’s Carousel until further notice, according to the Parks website. Riverfront events have been canceled through May 29.
Other areas closed because of COVID-19 include playgrounds, athletic courts and driving access to some parks. Nature centers are also closed.
Cincinnati Parks officials suggest washing your hands before and after leaving a park, bringing hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when needed.