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Safe Use of Parks, Trails and Open Spaces

For Immediate Release
March 26, 2020

For more information, contact: 
Randy Bina, Executive Director
Bismarck Parks and Recreation District
(701) 222-6455

Safe Use of Parks, Trails and Open Spaces

Concerns about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continue to grip our nation. Bismarck Parks and Recreation District (BPRD) supports the power of parks and open spaces as essential resources for health and wellness and understands that people may have questions and concerns about visiting parks, trails, boat ramps or open spaces at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged mental health as a top concern associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing may take a toll on our mental health, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing global public health emergencies. Parks and open spaces provide a connection to the outdoors as well as opportunities for physical activity which studies demonstrate reduces stress and improves mental health.

Parks, trails, boat ramps and open spaces can continue to be used in a safe manner. At this time, there are no restrictions on the use of local parks, trails, boat ramps and open spaces. There are a few BPRD park spaces that are not yet opened due to seasonal restrictions.

BPRD encourages all outdoor space enthusiasts to take part in outdoor recreation and to follow these recommendations:

  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.
  • Prepare for limited access to public restrooms, portable restrooms or water fountains.
  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.
  • If you are on a playground or are using outdoor fitness equipment, please practice social distancing and use your own hand sanitizer when you are done. You may also choose to use your own bacterial wipes to wipe off any surfaces prior to playing.
  • Having dogs in a park, trail, boat ramp or open space is allowed, but residents are reminded that dogs are required to be on a leash at all times in accordance with city ordinances.
  • Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports and other group hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.
  • A complete list of Bismarck’s 60 parks, 52 playgrounds and 75+ miles of trails can be found at