Great Neck Park District: Coronavirus Update, June 23
UPDATE: JUNE 23, 2020
Restarting of Operations Plan – Introduction
With the anticipated loosening of stay at home directives and in following of the NY Forward plan set
by New York State (NYS), it is critical for the Great Neck Park District (GNPD) to proactively identify
and establish sound protocols for the phased reopening of our parks, programs, and facilities.
Recognizing there is no existing vaccine for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-
19), GNPD is dedicated to implementing policies and measures to help mitigate the spread of
COVID-19. This will require many significant changes to our operations, especially during the initial phases, to best ensure the wellbeing of our employees and the public we serve.
This Restarting of Operations Plan is grounded on recommended best practices from many sources, including the NYS NY Forward plan, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Recreation and Park Association, New York State Recreation and Parks Society, and other organizations.
Recognizing that specific guidance is not available for all of our operations, GNPD also sought advice from the Nassau County Department of Health.
Recognizing that GNPD operations are considerably funded by user fees, it is critical that this plan not ignore the financial ramifications for the phased reopening of operations. GNPD will not compromise on a necessary protocol or measure due to cost. The safety of our patrons and employees is and will always remain paramount. GNPD will consider revenue generation as it prioritizes what services to provide when it is safe to provide such services to best ensure we have the necessary funding to begin bringing back seasonal and part time employees.
The GNPD has been dedicated to providing new and creative recreational services throughout our closure in order to meet the needs of our residents during this challenging time. These services included our live streaming classes, drive-in movies, and digital special events. The GNPD will continue to explore how we deliver our programming to the community in new safe and exciting ways.
We will be updating and revising our Restarting of Operations Plan as this fast moving situation continues to evolve. All decision will be made based on scientific findings, new or revised mandates or recommendations from governing authorities, and continual observation of what is and is not working effectively as our operations resume.
This document should be used as a tool for establishing GNPD’s strategy to reopen all operations, including tennis, fields, playgrounds, splash pads, pools, restrooms and other amenities within our park system. It will also provide protocols for GNPD’s extensive array of programs, including summer camps, aquatics, special events and other recreation programs. The plan describes protective measures put in place, how the work will be performed, the workflow from input to results, and the
necessary resources to be used along the way.
Read our Restarting of Operations Manual: click here
Phased Reopening Timeline, June 12, 2020
Update, June 12, 2020
With the anticipated loosening of restrictions and in following of the NY Forward plan set by New York State (NYS), the Great Neck Park District (GNPD) is proactively identifying and establishing sound protocols for the phased reopening of our parks, programs, and facilities. The GNPD is dedicated to implementing policies and measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This will require many significant changes to our operations, especially during the initial phases, to best ensure the wellbeing of our employees and the public we serve.
The Park District will soon be releasing our Restarting of Operations Plan (ROP) which is grounded on recommended best practices from many sources including the CDC and NYS. All decisions will be made based on scientific findings, new or revised mandates or recommendations from governing authorities, and continual observation of what is and is not working effectively as our operations resume. This ROP manual will be finalized once we receive further guidance from NYS and the Nassau County Department of Health. We anticipate to have this information sometime next week.
While we are finalizing our ROP, we are excited to have released our Reopening Timeline which outlines our phased planned. This information is a guide for our residents to follow along with us as we restore our programs and facilities. Program and facility guidelines, structure, fees, and registration for each phase will be part of out ROP manual. The ROP will describes protective measures put in place and how the work will be performed in order to provide these services safely to our community.
We are very excited to be in the position to restore the Park District and our community but we need your help to do so. Please follow all new guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our residents. We can only be successful doing this together. Therefore, we have one kind ask and that is to wear a mask when coming to our parks and facilities and always maintain social distancing from others.
We look forward to you coming out to play with us!
Great Neck Park District
Great Neck Park District: Coronavirus Update, MAY 8th
UPDATE: May 8, 2020
As we wait for further guidance from New York State (NYS), the Park District will remain closed but our parks are accessible as they have been since NYS enacted the Pause Plan back on March 22, 2020. We believe then as we do now that many of our parks, trails, and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows our residents to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits our parks provide.
We know that now more than ever our parks are needed and the health and well-being of our community is top priority. This is why the Park District is taking additional steps to protect our residents and to prevent overcrowding in our parks. Starting Saturday, May 8th, all residents will be required to have their GNPD Park Pass with them when using our facilities. No guests will be permitted at any park at this time as social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet is required outside of immediate family members. Also, we are restricting the amount of vehicle parking and access at Steppingstone Park as our monitoring has indicated there have been times of overcrowding. We are capping the amount of total parking onsite to 60 vehicles. Once we have reached that capacity no further vehicles will be permitted access to park or drop off. Please note, there is no parking on the streets surrounding Steppingstone Park and enforcement of this restriction will take place. We encourage you to visit Steppingstone Park during off-peak times to avoid a chance of being turned away due to heavy usage. As you know, all of our parks are beautiful and unique and we encourage you to visit one that is within walking distance of your residence during peak usage times.
Though we still anticipate the current public health crisis will continue for some time, we are planning for our summer programming including tennis, pool, day camp, and special events. As we are provided further guidance from NYS, the Nassau County Board of Health, and the CDC we will provide more information and make announcements. We are ready to bring our recreation programs back in a safe and socially acceptable way; stay tuned! In the meantime, we will continue to offer and expand our live stream recreational programs for the community. A separate notice will be provided regarding refunds of our cancelled spring programs shortly.
Finally, I would like to thank our Parks Maintenance workers for monitoring our parks during this challenging time to ensure they are safe for our community to enjoy. Please help us keep our parks safe and accessible for all. The following is a list of restrictions and recommendations when using our parks:
• Areas closed for public and private use are: ballfields, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, the dog park, restrooms, spray pads, shelters/pavilions, and indoor facilities.
• Recreational activities must be limited to non-contact and you are required to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others in public.
• Park Pass required for each member of your family.
• No guests permitted.
• Masks are strongly encouraged but are not mandatory when social distancing of 6 feet can be maintained in open spaces.
• Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
• Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.
• While on trails, warn other users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
UPDATE: MARCH 22, 2020
As promised, we are continuing to share information and frequent updates with all members of our community as it relates to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Effective Sunday, March 22, at 8 PM, the New York State on Pause plan enacted by the NY State Governor bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason. The New York State on Pause plan does permit you to leave your home for outdoor exercise so long as it is a solitary activity such as riding a bike, running, or walking through our parks. Outdoor recreational activities must be limited to non-contact and you are required to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others in public.
We believe that many parks, trails and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. All Park District facilities have been closed however, parks and open spaces are accessible when practicing social distancing for walking on paths, trails, and open spaces. You can’t, for example, play basketball with your friends and are not permitted to congregate with anyone outside of your immediate family.
The following areas will be closed for public and private use: ballfields, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, dog park, restrooms, spray pads, shelters/pavilions, and indoor facilities.
Our local parks, trails and open spaces have always served as places where people can find respite and seek peace and restoration. During this time of uncertainty, these places are needed now more than ever. Please, if you are sick or show signs of symptoms, stay home.
Be smart and be safe,
Jason Marra, Superintendent of Parks
UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2020
In response to the recent State of Emergency and in the interest of preventing the spread of coronavirus, the Great Neck Park District has extended the cancellation of all programs and closure of all facilities until further notice.
We are working hard to keep you as informed as possible as we navigate this challenging circumstance and will provide updates as decisions are made
Jason Marra, Superintendent of Parks
UPDATE: MARCH 13, 2020
In response to the health and safety concerns arising from the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Great Neck Park District has suspended all programs and will close all facilities at 5:30 PM today, through Friday, March 20, 2020.
The Board of Commissioners, mindful of similar actions taken by other state and local governments, has determined that the best interests of our residents and community are served by the suspension of programs and closing of facilities, which minimizes the opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person in the Park District community.
According to the Center for Disease Control, “Community mitigation is a set of actions that persons and communities can take to help slow the spread of respiratory virus infections. Community mitigation is especially important before a vaccine or drug becomes widely available.” As of March 13, 2020, there have been 48 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Nassau County, according to the Nassau County Executive. We undertake these steps to limit opportunities for group interaction, and so to assist in community mitigation of the coronavirus.
The following is a list of program modifications or cancellations:
- All Park District programs have been suspended through March 20, 2020. At present, the Park District plans to schedule makeup dates for all programs missed during this time period.
- All Park District facilities will be closed to the public through March 20, 2020.
- Daily Commuter Parking Passes will be available until 5:30 PM today, March 13, 2020 at the Great Neck House or may be purchased at the Dunkin Donuts location across the street from North Station Plaza Train Station. The Park District will continue to monitor our parking fields for proper commuter parking permits.
- Froggies Swim Team Conference Championships have been cancelled.
- Skate School Show has been postponed to May 3, 2020
- Bruins Awards Dinner will be rescheduled and modified to be held during team practice times. Specific details will be sent directly to participants of each team.
We understand the inconvenience that this decision will create for many in our community, and you can be assured that it was not made lightly. We continue to monitor the situation and related developments, and will strive to keep our residents informed. During the upcoming week, we will update you as decisions are made with respect to our programs and facilities. We encourage you to please share this information with your friends, family, and neighbors.
Jason R. Marra, Superintendent of Parks
March 10, 2020
The Great Neck Park District has been closely monitoring the challenging circumstance with the Coronavirus and we want to assure you that we are taking every preventative measure to protect the health and safety of our residents and patrons.
We are being proactive about cleaning all Park District facilities and high touch areas according to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for environmental cleaning of community facilities. We have also designated additional hours to deep clean our buildings to further prevent the spread of germs. Scheduled deep cleanings are taking place during low usage times and are coordinated to have a minimal impact on public usage. Our entire parks maintenance staff is to be commended for the many hours they are spending on a daily basis to make sure that our buildings are thoroughly disinfected and ready for patrons.
All park district programs are be held as scheduled at this time as we continue to monitor this situation on an ongoing basis. We are being proactive in modifying or postponing any large gathering events scheduled in the coming weeks. These event cancellations will be posted over the next few days and registrants will be notified directly of any changes. The Park District is working to be thoughtful when determining cancellations of large gatherings as it’s a delicate balance of taking precautionary measures while maintaining a sense of normalcy for our residents and patrons.
We are emphasizing that anyone who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms should not be frequenting any Park District facilities. If you are unwell, please stay home.
Jason R. Marra
Superintendent of Parks