City of Madison closes playgrounds in effort to stop spread of COVID-19

A sign posted at a Madison park, after the City of Madison closed most of its parks on Thursday. (Source: WMTV)
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- The City of Madison is shutting down most of its park amenities in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Madison Parks Division said in a release Thursday they were updating their amenities, activities and facilities to be in compliance with Gov. Evers' "Safer at Home" order.

The updated Madison Parks information will be in effect through 8 a.m April 24, or until a superseding order is issued.

They plan to keep all trails open to walking and biking where previously allowed. Off-leash dog parks, Brittingham, Quann, Sycamore and Warner, will be open, but all others are closed because of the Spring thaw. Community gardens will also be open and there will be signs at those locations from Commuity Groundworks.

Meanwhile several areas are CLOSED or remain closed from the Winter season.

  • Playgrounds – signage in place at 178 playgrounds throughout the system
  • Basketball Courts – signage at the most popular locations
  • Restrooms – most remain closed from the winter season, we are evaluating the status of restrooms in high traffic areas.
  • Disc Golf Courses – Hiestand and Elver remain closed from the winter season, Yahara Hills now closed and baskets removed.
  • Athletic Fields – all remain closed from the winter season
  • Shelters, all remain closed from the winter season, Highland Manor and Gates of Heaven now closed
  • Drinking Fountains – remain off from the winter season
  • Skate park – now closed, signage in place
  • Tennis Courts and Pickleball Courts - signage at the most popular locations
  • Golf Courses

The Parks Division also recommends people do the following while spending time outside:


  • Do not use parks or trails if you are sick with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Maintain a social distance of at least six feet from people other than your household members.
  • Do not play team or contact sports. This includes but is not limited to basketball, ultimate frisbee, soccer, or football since these activities do not meet social distancing requirements. Suggested park activities include but are not limited to walking, biking, fishing, hiking, or running.
  • Assume that surfaces could have COVID-19.
  • Do not use playground equipment or sports courts. If you must touch any surface within the park such as gates, tables, handles, playground equipment or other common touchpoints, use gloves or a bag over your hand, then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after.
  • Practice good personal hygiene such as washing your hands, carrying your own hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the inside of your elbow, avoiding touching your face, etc.
  • Avoid public restrooms. Use the restroom before you leave your home.
  • Bring your own water or drinks since many public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
  • Bring a trash bag with you and take out your own trash.