Parks and public spaces across the Chattanooga area are beginning to reopen as Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke ease restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Here are the openings announced so far.
Effective Tuesday, April 28, the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department is opening the following parks for passive day use, such as jogging, walking, or outdoor outdoor leisure time as individuals or families:
* Tennessee Riverpark, with limited restrooms
* Tennessee Riverwalk section from C.B. Robinson Bridge to Veterans Bridge
* Enterprise South Nature Park, with limited restrooms; the Visitor Center is closed
* Chester Frost Park, with limited restrooms
At a news conference Monday, April 27, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said that he will sign an executive order allowing golf courses, parks, trails and other public spaces to reopen Friday, May 1. Berke had suspended access to city-operated parks and public spaces such as the Walnut Street Bridge in a previous executive order that went into effect April 3 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This includes the Riverwalk, Walnut Street Bridge, Coolidge Park, Greenway Farms and the Chickamauga greenways and more. View a full list here.
Other cities in Hamilton County
In East Ridge, Camp Jordan Park's walking track and fishing pond are open, but the bathrooms, soccer and baseball fields and arena are closed. The city's community center also remains closed.
Red Bank parks are open, but playgrounds remain closed. The baseball fields at Morrison Springs Park and softball fields at Norma Cagle Park are open for public use of groups of 10 or fewer, but not to organized use. Red Bank Community Center is closed until at least May 31, City Manager Tim Thornbury said.
Soddy-Daisy parks, including ballfields and boat ramps, open Friday, May 1, but playgrounds remain closed. Big Soddy Creek Gulf is closed, though for repairs to flood damage rather than due to fears of spreading COVID-19, said City Manager Janice Cagle.
In Signal Mountain, all parks are open starting Tuesday, April 28 aside from Rainbow Lake Trail and Park, the Town Hall Gym, and all playground equipment, pavilions and park restroom facilities. Parking lots for the overlook parks on North Palisades Drive remain closed. Signal Point, which is operated by the U.S. National Park Service, also remains closed.
Tennessee State Parks reopened most of its 56 parks on Friday, April 24, for day-use only. Specific details on which parks are reopened are available on tnstateparks.com, according to a news release sent Monday afternoon.
Overcrowding may cause entire parks or portions of parks to close again, the state has said. Facilities and gathering areas, including pavilions and playgrounds, remain closed. Cabins, lodges, restaurants, campgrounds and group camps also remain closed.