By SCOTT JACKSON
Quincy will re-open its basketball and tennis courts next week on a limited basis after they had been closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Murphy said officials identified 22 locations throughout the city that could re-open. The courts will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Basketball courts will be for single-use only – with the exception of children playing with parents – and the tennis courts will be for singles play only. Recreation staff will be hired to oversee the on-site registration process and to enforce social distancing guidelines.
Murphy said residents should not confuse the staff onsite with the summer recreation program leaders. The city is awaiting state guidance before determining if the summer recreation program can go forward this year.
“This is not the rec camp program,” Murphy said. “We are waiting for guidance from the governor on that. This is simply staff overseeing the tennis and basketball courts. People should not send their kids down to the local neighborhood park anticipating a rec leader will be there.”
The city’s parks have remained open, though the basketball and tennis courts had been closed. Koch said residents should feel free to get outside and exercise.
“We have had QPD help us patrol some of the park areas and I think some things get misinterpreted. People reached out over the weekend to me that they were asked to leave Faxon Park and they were just walking the trails. That should not be a problem,” the mayor said. “We have kept the parks open for single use like jogging or walking. It was the team play stuff that was the issue when you could not social distance.
“Now we are getting into much better weather and we do have some beautiful park spaces, so we want to encourage people to use them under the limitations that the Department of Natural Resources has come up with.”
Koch encouraged younger residents to apply for the openings in the recreation program.
“This is also an opportunity to get our young people working and earning income,” he said. “By opening up our parks, we are providing safe, recreational opportunities for residents and hopefully stimulating our local economy by creating income for Quincy residents. Recreation is probably the only department that has 100 percent Quincy residents.”
Playgrounds and tot lots have also been closed since the start of the outbreak. Murphy said they will still remain closed for the time being, “because there is still inconsistent information out there about how the virus lives on metal and plastic surfaces.”
Tennis and basketball will be available at the following facilities:
Fenno Street, Beechwood Knoll, Squantum/Wendall Moses, Russell Park tennis courts/track, Mass Fields, Bishop, LaBrecque, Snug Harbor, Broad Meadows, Forbes Hill, O’Rourke, Bernazzani, Faxon Park, Smith and Quarry Street, South-West Middle School, Fore River Field, Perkins Field, Wollaston School, Cavanaugh Stadium, Flynn Playground, Marshall School and Bradford Street Playground.
The sites were chosen based on providing a geographic representation of every neighborhood. Certain facilities, like Welcome Young Park, Flaherty Park and the Pond Street Skatepark, are under construction and not available to be opened, city officials said.
The city’s new dog park on Quarry Street will be opened with restrictions this June. Recreation staff will limit the capacity of the park to six people per half-hour. Dog owners are welcome to use the municipal park system, providing that they adhere to both leash and pooper-scooper laws.