The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District announced new guidelines taking affect Friday, Nov. 20, to comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s directive for Tier-3 resurgence mitigations related to COVID-19.
“During these times, our ultimate goal is to continue to protect the health and safety of our participants and staff. While this move back to Tier 3 will affect our programming, we will continue to look for creative ways to provide safe and compliant recreational activities for the Homewood-Flossmoor community,” said Debbie Kopas, parks executive director.
“The governor’s announcement includes an order to pause all indoor recreation activities. You can rest assured that our program supervisors have contingency plans in place to keep programs running and will be contacting participants with those plans,” she said. “We will continue to offer our current outdoor programs that comply with Cook County Public Health guidelines.”
The district’s 31 parks and playgrounds will remain open. Parks Commissioner Brent Bachus said while some park programs are restricted, he encourages residents to “walk the trails at Irons Oaks, get out and enjoy the parks … Take in the sunshine, despite the temperatures.”
At their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, parks commissioners thanked staff for all the work they’ve done to keep programs going.
“It’s amazing what you’ve been able to do, and what you will be doing for our community,” said Commissioner Debbie Dennison.
Coyote Run Golf Course will be open as long as the weather cooperates. Golfers should book tee time reservations online and view safety guidelines at coyoterungolf.com. Tom Denklau, course manager, said he expects 400 rounds will be played this weekend, and maybe more if the weather holds.
The H-F Racquet and Fitness Club is open but guests are required to make reservations at 708-799-1323. This will help the club guarantee it is meeting the new capacity targets.
Tennis will be limited to singles play and private lessons. New virtual on-demand fitness classes will be offered. In-person group fitness classes are unavailable by Tier 3 restrictions.
Stephanie Simpson, ice arena manager, said programs at the H-F Ice Arena are postponed, but will be back once indoor group sporting and recreational activities are allowed to resume. Private, one-on-one lessons will be available under the new restrictions.
The ice arena is currently accepting skate donations that will help provide skates for residents looking to use the outdoor community ice rinks this winter at Flossmoor Park and Willowview Park in Homewood. For more information, please call 708-957-0100.
Trails at Irons Oaks are open from dawn to dusk. All outdoor programming will continue with a limit of 10 participants. Smaller classes and extra sections will be added to meet demand. Cross country skis will be available to rent and instruction will be available when enough snow is present.
“Eight months ago today is when we met (in person) at the ice arena for the very last time and while it seems like yesterday, it seems like a lifetime ago that we sat in the lobby and prepared for what could have been months,” said Dallas Collins, board president. “And now here we are. Thank you (staff) for all the hard work and due diligence and keeping everyone in mind.”
“If you think about it, eight months ago we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. And it’s eight months and we’re all kind of OK,” said Kopas, although her wish is that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is “just hopefully not eight more.”