By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(June 18, 2020) Stephen Decatur Park and Dr. William Henry Park reopened to the public at noon last Friday, following the May 7 opening of Heron Park.
In addition, public restrooms in Henry Park and on William Street next to Town Hall also reopened. Portable toilets have been placed in Stephen Decatur and Heron Parks as well.
Mayor Gee Williams said the decision to reopen facilities was based on guidelines from the CDC and conversations with Worcester County Health Department officials.
“In addition to those recommendations, it is only fair and proper that Berlin residents and visitors may now use our public parks since Gov. Hogan announced last week the reopening of amusement parks and other outdoor and indoor activities statewide,” Williams said.
Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said the town sought advice on the reopening from the Maryland Department of Health and Worcester Health Department because the parks have playgrounds and other equipment.
According to the CDC, outdoor areas normally do not require disinfection. Rather, such spaces just need routine maintenance.
Regular maintenance on the parks consists of mowing, removing debris from paths and play areas, collecting trash and cleaning the restrooms and portable toilets.
Fleetwood said the parks were sanitized a couple weeks ago and restrooms at the recreational facilities are being cleaned twice a day.
The annual safety inspection of the parks is scheduled to be done within the next 30 days, Fleetwood added. In the meantime, park visitors are encouraged to contact Town Hall if there are any problems with equipment.
Currently, the Town of Berlin does not plan to place signs in the parks to remind visitors about social distancing.
“Individual responsibility goes a long way,” Fleetwood said.
Park visitors are to practice social distancing standards, such as maintaining a distance of six feet from others in the park, washing or sanitizing their hands regularly and wearing face masks, as suggested by the CDC.
For more information, call 410-641-2770.