Throughout the stay-at-home order, NoVA residents retreated to the wilderness for an escape, taking advantage of the many parks, trails and recreational facilities we have access to in the region. The problem? Very few sites have been open in the past few months, and many residents were afraid to visit the most popular locations due to crowds.
Now though, as the region remains in phase two of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan and looks on to Forward Virginia: Phase Three, local county departments are starting to welcome back residents with open arms. From which parks are open to how to reserve time on a local soccer field, these are all the details you need to know.
The city of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is currently reopening its programs and facilities in alignment with Gov. Northam’s reopening plan. As of press time, the majority of parks, trails and recreation centers are open for public use; however outdoor pools will not open until Wednesday, July 1, summer camps will begin on Monday, July 6, and the registration and reservation office is only open by appointment. According to the department’s plans, all programs and facilities will be offered and open when NoVA enters phase three of reopening. Find a detailed list of what is available here.
As of June 12, the Arlington County Parks and Recreation department reopened its dog parks, basketball courts and volleyball courts, with the expectation that all visitors will practice social distancing and follow appropriate usage guidelines. For the duration of the summer, camps, programs for those 55 years old and up, trips and classes are canceled. In addition, organized sports games, special events and instruction are not permitted in park facilities for the time being. Plus, while most facilities and amenities are open, the following remain closed as of press time: community and nature centers, playgrounds, restrooms and spraygrounds. For more frequently asked questions about the reopening of local parks, as well as details on what is open right now, click here.
Recognized as the largest county in the region, Fairfax County is full of parks and park facilities that provide entertainment for its residents. As of June 15, the majority of the county’s parks and parking lots are now open, and the county has also begun a phased reopening of park amenities. Most programming though has been canceled for the entirety of summer, including concerts, summer entertainment series, summer camps, seasonal celebratory events and outdoor water features like the Water Minne, MLK Pool and the Lee District Sprayground.
Come the end of June as we near phase three of reopening in Northern Virginia, the following will be open to guests: the Burke Lake Park Miniature Train, carousels, recreation centers and indoor pools and volunteer activities for those interested. For a full guide of open facilities in Fairfax County right now, as well as new health and safety guidelines put in place, check out the county’s Operating Status Guide.
As of June 13, Fauquier County’s Parks and Recreation department has made boat rentals available at Crockett Park and is accepting shelter reservations for Wednesday, July 1 and beyond at its park shelters. In addition, park restrooms are open, with facility checks and sanitizing taking place every two hours. Sports fields too are open for walk-on, unscheduled use, however, if leagues and teams wish to use the fields, they must submit a plan to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval. As of now, county offices are closed, but events are starting to be scheduled again. For more up-to-date information, it is recommended to frequently check the county’s website.
According to Fredericksburg’s Parks and Recreation department website, all trails, parks and public restrooms are open, with the exception of certain amenities. As of press time, the following are closed or canceled for the season: Dorothy Hart Community Center; rentals of parks and facilities; Motts Run Reservoir; Buffett Swimming Pool; summer camps; playgrounds; park shelters; recreation programs and special events; the Heritage Festival Fourth of July events; and all fall sports. As Northern Virginia moves into phase three in the coming weeks, the county department is expecting to make new announcements, so stay up to date here.
While Northern Virginia is not quite yet in phase three of reopening, that day is on the horizon, and Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services is planning ahead. Come phase three, the county will open all of its facilities, programs and activities to the public, with health guidelines and restrictions in place. The majority of summer programming began today, June 22, and more events will continue to be added as the summer continues. For a full list of what is open right now in phase two, as well as what you can expect in the coming weeks, click here.
Prince William County
In Prince William County, operations are continuously adapted to match the commonwealth’s phased approach to reopening. According to the Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism website, the following are currently open for use and play: trails; walking paths; open spaces; picnic shelters; playgrounds; parking lots; tennis courts; volleyball courts; pickleball courts; basketball courts; and all outdoor parks. In addition, boating, fishing and golfing are permitted at many of the county’s sites, so long as social-distancing guidelines are adhered to. Currently, outdoor pools, water parks, recreation centers and community centers are closed, however, this may change when NoVA moves into phase three of reopening. To learn more specific details about the department’s phased reopening plan, click here.
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