PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Wednesday, Peoria Park District Executive Director, Emily Cahill said the board wants to engage the community while keeping everyone safe. That led to making decisions Cahill said may not be favorable, but necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This summer, the district’s swimming pools will be closed along with Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum. Cahill said she anticipates limitations on participating and the inability to manage social distancing in both of these settings. Adding, the risk associated with operating pools in 2020 outweigh the benefits. In addition, Cahill said it is likely the children’s museum will be one of the last facilities the Peoria Park District opens up.
Also, the park district’s instructor-led programs, like yoga and line dancing, and special events like their Independence Day celebration will not happen. However, there is still hope for some activities. Cahill said the district board is still undecided about summer camps, recreational centers, RiverPlex, Peoria’s zoo, splash-pads, and playgrounds. She said they are trying to balance safety concerns for each entity and need more direction before making a decision.
Parks, trails and golf courses will be open this summer, with restrictions. For golfers new rules will be in place. A few of them being no carts allowed unless a person needs the cart to play, no handshakes at the beginning of the game and no caddies are allowed.
Cahill understands some people are not happy with the decisions made so far, but wants to remind the community that the district is focused on keeping people as safe and healthy as possible.
“It’s really hard to be us right now,” Cahill said. “The tennis people are mad at me the basketball people are mad at me but at the end of the day those decisions are keeping them safer than if those amenities were open right now.”
Cahill said as she receives more direction and information what she stated Wednesday night could change.