Saint Paul Parks & Recreation COVID-19 Updates

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In accordance with Governor Walz's executive orders and public health guidelines, we have made changes to our programs, services, and amenities to support the safe enjoyment of Saint Paul's outdoor public spaces during Stay Safe MN

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What recreational amenities are OPEN and what should I know before I visit? 

In accordance with Governor Walz's orders, the following recreational amenities remain open, with restrictions: 

  • Parks, trails, and open spaces 
    • Stay at least six feet away from park users who are not part of your household. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
    • If it is not possible to maintain social distancing throughout an activity then you should only participate in that activity with members of your household. 
    • Follow current ‘Stay Safe MN’ guidelines for group activities. Avoid participating in unnecessary activities with people who aren't part of your household.
    • Masks are required to be worn inside all Saint Paul businesses including our park facilities, parks and outdoor public spaces when 6ft social distancing cannot be maintained.
    • Avoid contact with shared amenities such as picnic tables, play structures, and benches. Amenities are not sanitized and are available for use at your own risk. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if you do come in contact with shared amenities. 
    • Do not use parks or trails if you are sick or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.    
    • Do not use parks or trails if you are at a higher risk of illness.  
    • Follow all CDC and State of MN outdoor recreation guidelines.   
    • Regular park rules and regulations apply. 
    • Parks and trails are subject to regular closures for flooding, construction, or maintenance. 
  • Playgrounds 
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • Playground equipment is not sanitized. Play at your own risk.
  • Boat launches and fishing piers
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
  • Dog parks 
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • Regular dog park rules apply. 
  • Skate Parks
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
  • Athletic fields 
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • Field permits are available for some field locations. Please contact Municipal Athletics at 651-588-2255 for more information .  Permits will have priority use on the fields. 
    • Follow current ‘Stay Safe MN’ guidelines for group activities and ensure a 6ft distance is maintained from those who are not a part of your household
    • Fields will not be striped and goals will not be available for use, unless a permit is issued.
  • Tennis, basketball, and other sports courts
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • Sports courts have reopened as part of the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department’s Rec Engagement Crew (R.E.C) Program. The R.E.C. work in teams at the program locations to educate and encourage park visitors to practice social distancing and other recommended public health directives. New educational signage has been placed program locations to help park users understand the public health guidelines and how following them will help to keep program facilities open and available for all to use. 
    • Rec Engagement Crew (R.E.C.) Pilot Program Guidelines (PDF)
    • The R.E.C. will also visit athletic fields, skate parks and the Highland Park disc golf course to encourage park visitors to follow COVID-19 related park restrictions and guidelines.
  • Phalen Regional Park Beach
    • The beach is open 12pm-8pm daily with lifeguards on duty and public health guidelines in place. Please visit the Phalen Beach website to learn what you need to know before arriving at the beach.
  • Splash Pads
    • Splash pads are open from 10am-8pm daily. All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
  • Highland Park disc golf course 
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • Use only your own discs.
    • Do not touch the baskets or other player's discs.
    • To help keep the course safe and open for all to use, members of our R.E.C (Rec Engagement Crew) will be visiting the course throughout the day to encourage players to follow the above guidelines.
  • Phalen, Como, Highland National, Highland 9 golf courses, and the Highland driving range
    • All restrictions and guidelines above apply. Click here for additional restrictions and information. 
  • Watergate Marina
  • Paddle Share
  • Wheel Fun Rentals
    • Wheel Fun Rentals provides watercraft and surrey bike rentals at Como Lakeside Pavilion.
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
    • The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory has reopened by reservation only. 
  • City House
    • Dine along the Mississippi River at City House
  • Dock & Paddle (Formerly Spring Cafe) and Lakeside Treats
    • Dock & Paddle restaurant and Lakeside Treats, located in the Como Lakeside Pavilion, is now open.

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What recreational amenities are CLOSED? 

  • Recreation and community center buildings
    •  Saint Paul Parks and Recreation buildings are closed to the public, including recreation and community centers, municipal athletic buildings, Great River Water Park.  During this period of closure we will continue to maintain the essential internal functions of the parks and recreation system.  ​​​​​We will continue to monitor the situation, but we expect them to remain closed at least until late summer or early fall. 
  • Some aquatic facilities, water features and drinking fountains
    • Como Regional Park Pool and Highland Park Aquatic Center will not open this summer. Great River Water Park also remains closed at this time.  Phalen Beach and splash pads are open. 
    • Decorative fountains and ornamental water features will not be turned on this summer.
    • Public drinking fountains will not be turned on until further notice.
      • We recommend filling a reusable water bottle and bringing it with you to the park. 
  • Restrooms
    • ​​​​Restroom buildings will remain closed until further notice. 
  • Some food and beverage services

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Are events, rentals, programs and activities canceled? 

  • All previously scheduled programs, rentals, events, and activities are canceled through at least July 6. 
  • Summer youth sports leagues are canceled. We hope to safely bring youth sports leagues back in the fall.
  • Based on the current information available, and our continued effort to ensure the safety of our community and staff, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all previously scheduled summer camps and programming. For these programs to be successful, we rely on our recreation center facilities which remain closed. 
  • Refunds will automatically be issued to your ActiveNet accounts. See refunds and rescheduling of events and activities for more information. 
  • Visit our Rec Reimagined page for information on digital and alternative programming options. We will continue to add new programming information to this page as it becomes available. 

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What digital and alternative programming are you offering at this time?

  • Summer Space Outdoor Youth Program: Summer Space is a free outdoor program for Saint Paul youth entering grades 1-6 that adheres to MN Department of Health guidance on COVID-19. The program will take place at 15 Saint Paul parks and recreation center spaces in three hour time blocks, Monday through Thursday starting June 22, and includes arts & crafts, nature exploration, games, fitness, and other structured activities that allow for participants to connect with their peers while keeping their “space” to allow for social distancing. Registration is required and must be done by calling the specific recreation center between noon-3pm, Monday through Thursday. A list of locations and registration info can be found on our Summer Space registration page.   
  • Rec Reimagined Digital and Alternative Programs: In order to help you stay connected, healthy, and active during this time, we have launched a new webpage where you can stay up-to-date with all of our digital and alternative programming options. Visit Rec Reimagined page often for the latest virtual programs, activity ideas, and other ways to live an active lifestyle and stay connected to nature in our parks, at home, and in your own back yard. We will continue to update this page as new programs and activities are introduced.

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Are any roads closed to vehicle traffic for expanded social distancing?

No. Beginning Tuesday, September 8, the City of Saint Paul will reopen three temporary road closures around Como Regional Park, Phalen Regional Park, and Cherokee Regional Park as scheduled. At this time, there are no resources, funding, or plans for the City of Saint Paul to explore or change the existing roadways from their current traffic use or continue the temporary closures.

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Is Saint Paul providing free meal service to families in need?

Yes, to address growing food insecurity in Saint Paul due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is partnering with Youthprise, Arts-Us, and the Sanneh Foundation to provide free meal service to Saint Paul families at park facilities and libraries across the city. 

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What is your process for refunds and rescheduling of events and activities?

Recreation, Aquatics, and Community Centers:

  • All events, rentals, programs, and activities are canceled through at least Monday, July 6.
    • All previously scheduled summer camps, programming, and youth sports are canceled for the summer. Visit our Rec Reimagined page for information on digital and alternative programming options.
    • Events, rentals, programs, and activities which have already met prior to our cancellation will be issued a prorated refund for the remaining dates.  
    • Full refunds will be granted for events, rentals, programs, and activities which have not yet met.
    • All refunds will be automatically issued as credits on your ActiveNet account.
    • ActiveNet memberships will be extended for a time period equal to the length of time in which our buildings are closed. If you would like a refund of your membership or punch card, please contact parkscustomerservice@ci.stpaul.mn.us. Annual memberships can be refunded for any remaining months on the membership from the point at which our facilities closed, which is March 16, 2020. Punch cards can be refunded for any unused punches or saved for use at a later date. 
  • Field permits are available for some field locations. Please contact Municipal Athletics at 651-588-2255 for more information.  Permits will have priority use on the fields. 
  • We are not issuing any permits for indoor facilities at this time. 

Permit Office (Parks, Walk/Runs, Pavilions, Shelters):

  • All private events through July 6 are canceled.
  • Permit holders will be contacted and full refunds will be granted.
  • If you have an event or rental taking place anytime after July 6 and wish to cancel, you may do so now, but our refund policy remains unchanged.
  • We are not issuing new permits or rentals at this time. We will resume issuing picnic permits when further guidance is available from public health officials. 
  • Visit www.stpaul.gov/parkpermits for information on permits and reservations after July 6. 

Harriet Island & Citywide (events booked out of the Harriet Island office): 

  • All private events through July 6 are canceled. Clients have been contacted. At this time, if a client chooses to cancel an event after July 6 they may reschedule the event within one year or receive a refund of 50% of their deposit. 

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory:  

  • All private events, permits, programs through July 6 have been canceled and refunded for the room or space rental.  Lancer Hospitality will work directly with clients that have catering contracts.  If a client chooses to cancel an event scheduled after July 6 due to a COVID-19 reason, they may reschedule the event within one year with no date change fee or receive a refund of 50% of their deposit.  

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Contact Us

Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department
ParksCustomerService@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Ph: 651-266-6400

Monday – Friday
​7:30am – 4:30pm 

Language Translation Resources

  • English: If you have questions about the City's response to COVID-19, call 651-266-6000 or email LanguageResources@ci.stpaul.mn.us. Translators are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions in Hmong, Somali, Oromo, Karen, and Spanish.
  • Hmong: Muaj neeg txhais lus Hmoob Monday – Friday thaum 8:30 am – 5 pm los teb koj cov lus noog. Yog koj xav tau kev pab hu 1-651-266-5774 lossis xa email tuaj rau LanguageResource@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
  • Spanish: Tenemos traductores disponibles de lunes a viernes, desde las 8:30 AM y hasta las 5:00 PM para contestar sus preguntas en Español. Para recibir ayuda marqué 1-651-266-574 o envié un correo electrónico a la dirección LanguageResources@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
  • Somali: Tarjubaan ayaa la heli karaa Isniinta - Jimcaha 8:30 a.m.-5: 00 p.m.to si looga jawaabo su'aalaha af-soomaaliga. Caawimaad wac wac 1-651-266-5786 ama emayl ku soo qor LanguageResources@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
  • Karen: Translators are available Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.to answer questions in Karen. For assistance call 1-651-266-5778 or email LanguageResources@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
  • Oromo: Translators are available Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.to answer questions in Oromo. For assistance call 1-651-266-5793 or email LanguageResources@ci.stpaul.mn.us

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