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)

COVID-19 Infographic and open amenities

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. 
    • Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people. 
    • Avoid contact with shared amenities such as picnic tables and benches. 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. 
  • Boat launches and fishing piers
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
  • Dog parks 
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • Regular dog park rules apply. 
  • Athletic fields 
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • No team or contact sports.  
    • People may use and access spaces, but no organized or pickup games.
    • Fields will not be striped and goals will not be available for use.
  • Tennis and basketball courts (limited locations)
    • All guidelines and restrictions above apply. 
    • Most sports courts are closed, but some basketball and tennis courts are being reopened as part of the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department’s Rec Engagement Crew (R.E.C) Pilot Program. The R.E.C Pilot Program aims to safely begin reintroducing recreational amenities at Saint Paul parks. The program will take place at sites spaced throughout the City, with tennis and basketball court locations in all seven Wards. The R.E.C. will be working in teams at the pilot program locations to educate and encourage park visitors to practice social distancing and other recommended public health directives. New educational signage has been placed pilot program locations to help park users understand the public health guidelines and how following them will help to keep pilot program facilities open and available for all to use. 
    • Rec Engagement Crew (R.E.C.) Pilot Program Guidelines (PDF)
    • Open court locations:
      • Aldine Park
      • Baker Park
      • Battle Creek Recreation Center 
      • Burns Park
      • Carty Park
      • Cayuga Park
      • Cherokee Regional Park 
      • College Park
      • Desnoyer Park
      • Dunning Park 
      • Eastview Park 
      • Edgcumbe Recreation Center
      • Groveland Recreation Center  
      • Hamline Park
      • Hancock Recreation Center
      • Hayden Heights Recreation Center  
      • Homecroft Park 
      • Langford Park Recreation Center 
      • Linwood Recreation Center
      • Mattocks Park 
      • Merriam Park Recreation Center
      • MLK Recreation Center 
      • Newell Park
      • North Dale Recreation Center 
      • Phalen Recreation Center 
      • Prosperity Park
      • Rice Recreation Center 
      • Saint Clair Park 
      • So. St. Anthony Park
      • West Minnehaha Recreation Center 
  • Additional locations coming soon. Due to limited staff availability, we cannot open all court locations at this time. We will begin to reopen more locations when it is determined that we can do so safely. 
    • The R.E.C. will also visit athletic fields and the Highland Park disc golf course to encourage park visitors to follow COVID-19 related park restrictions and guidelines.
  • 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, and Highland National Golf Courses and the Highland driving range
    • All restrictions and guidelines above apply. Click here for additional restrictions and information. 
    • Highland 9 Golf Course is closed. See below for more information. 
  • Paddle Share
  • Wheel Fun Rentals

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What recreational amenities are CLOSED? 

  • Parks and Recreation buildings
    • All Saint Paul Parks and Recreation buildings are closed to the public, including recreation and community centers, municipal athletic facilities, Great River Water Park, and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.  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. 
  • Playgrounds 
  • Skate parks 
    • Skate parks will be reopening by June 1.
  • Sports courts
  • Aquatic facilities, water features and drinking fountains
    • Como Regional Park Pool and Highland Park Aquatic Center will not open this summer. We are exploring other ways for our residents to safely cool off.  
    • Splash pads will remain off until further public health guidance is available and it is determined they can be safely turned on. 
    • 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. 
  • Food and beverage services
  • Highland 9 Golf Course
    • Golf play is not allowed on closed courses per Parks and Recreation Rules & Regulations CH. 4, Section 9a: “Golf play is only allowed on City golf courses during times when the course is open for business.”
    • Anyone on a closed golf course preventing staff from performing maintenance, violating park rules and regulations, or violating COVID-19 related park restrictions may be asked to leave.

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Are events, rentals, programs and activities canceled? 

  • All programs, rentals, events, and activities are canceled through June 1. 
    • Refunds will automatically be issued to your ActiveNet accounts.  
  • 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. 
    • We are in the process of evaluating new public health guidance regarding athletic fields and will resume athletic field rentals when we determine the necessary guidelines can be met.  
  • Summer youth sports leagues are canceled. Refunds will automatically be issued on your ActiveNet accounts. We hope to safely bring youth sports leagues back in the fall.
  • We are in the process of evaluating new public health guidance regarding summer camps and youth activities. At this time, our plan is to begin providing some summer youth programs with the recommended safety measures in place as early as mid-June. We will provide further updates on summer youth programs as soon as we are able.  
  • Visit our Rec Reimagined page for information on digital and alternative programming. 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?

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 an activities are introduced. 

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Are any roads closed to vehicle traffic?

The City of Saint Paul has temporarily closed portions of several city streets to vehicle traffic to accommodate social distancing guidelines for residents who are walking and biking near some of Saint Paul’s parks. The following streets are closed or partially closed to vehicle traffic: 

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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 YouthpriseArts-Us, and the Sanneh Foundation to provide free meal service through June 5 to Saint Paul families in need. Families with a minor child in the home will be eligible to pick up one meal bag per child per week. Each meal bag contains 7 dinner meals and 7 snacks including fresh fruits and vegetables, juice, a variety of sandwiches, crackers, cheese, milk, and more. The meal bags will be available for pick up at the following times and locations:   


Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-4 p.m. 
  • Conway Recreation Center (Sanneh Foundation), 2090 Conway St 
Tuesday and Thursday, 2-4 p.m. 
  • El Rio Vista Community Center (in partnership with Neighborhood House), 179 Robie St E 
  • McDonough Recreation Center, 1544 Timberlake Rd 
  • Palace Recreation Center, 781 Palace Ave 
Wednesdays and Fridays, 2-4 p.m. 
  • Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave 
  • Rice Recreation Center, 1021 Marion St 
  • Dunning Recreation Center (Arts-Us), 1221 Marshall Ave 

For residents who cannot safely travel to these sites, the City will offer a limited meal delivery service. Delivery locations will be identified on a rolling basis and will be announced here and on the City’s social media channels. The City’s meal service will supplement services provided by Saint Paul Public Schools, local food shelves, and other governmental partners. For the latest information, sign up for the City’s COVID-19 email newsletter. 

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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 Monday, June 1.
    • 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 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. 
    • Permit holders of impacted rentals will be contacted with further information.
      • We are unable to reschedule existing permits, or issue new permits at this time. We hope to begin processing these requests again soon.
  • Currently, there is no change to our refund policy for events, rentals, programs, and activities beyond June 1. This may change as new information becomes available, so if possible, we ask that you hold off on refund requests for dates beyond June 1 at this time. If you must request a refund now, please understand that due to the current situation, it may be two or more weeks before your refund request can be processed. 
  • We are not issuing new permits or rentals at this time. We are in the process of evaluating new public health guidance regarding athletic fields and will resume athletic field rentals when we determine the necessary guidelines can be met.  

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. 

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
Ph: 651-266-6400

Monday – Friday
​7:30am – 4:30pm