With nice weather in the forecast this weekend, the City would like to remind residents that social distancing is required to help slow the spread of COVID-19, even when outside at parks and dog parks.

Past weekends have seen large numbers of residents gathering at City parks. While getting outdoors is important during the pandemic, such gatherings could lead to more spread of COVID-19 since carriers of the disease often show no symptoms. 

So instead of going to the most popular parks, the City urges residents to explore different parks. The City has 42 parks, so why not visit ones you've never been to! A complete list of City parks can be found on our website. 

Dog parks

Dog parks remain open throughout the City. Though dogs are usually allowed off leash, we ask owners to keep their dogs from running up to other dogs, helping to maintain social distancing.

Parks users should also note that the pond at the Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park has been closed and will remain closed indefinitely. The water fountains and water hydrants will not be on at the dog parks as well. 

Be it a dog park, or a regular park, the City has a series of recommendations for those going to parks: 

  • Practice social distancing: stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Wear a cloth mask if the park is busy, if social distancing isn't possible
  • All playground equipment is closed, so please stay off the playgrounds
  • Simply stay home if you are sick

Social distancing and cloth face masks are as important as ever not just to keep yourself healthy, but to keep others safe. So make the right choice, avoid crowded parks, and stay safe.

For all Iowa City COVID-19 news updates and resources, visit icgov.org/Coronavirus

Date of publication

Thursday, April 16, 2020