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Missouri state parks announce phase one in resuming normal operations

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 5:36 pm

JEFFERSON CITY—Missouri State Parks, a division of the Department of Natural Resources, announced phase one of a phased approach to resuming normal operations.
While the vast majority of Missouri state parks and historic sites have remained open for day use, Missouri State Parks has implemented several measures designed to maintain required social distancing and protect visitors and team members.
The following measures are being implemented:
• May 4, concession-operated lodging, dining, marina, and retail operations began reopening at the discretion of the individual concessionaires and following Governor Parson’s recommended guidelines.
• May 11, Castlewood State Park, Elephant Rocks State Park, Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site and State Park and Weston Bend State Park reopened for day use only.
• May 18, the off-road-vehicle riding area at St. Joe State Park will reopen and will require daily permits to be purchased online; quantities may be limited to manage capacity.
Park campgrounds and park-run lodging will remain closed through May 18. Missouri State Parks continues to evaluate public-health data, applicable social-distancing guidelines, and operational requirements to determine when it would be appropriate to resume these operations.
Visitor centers, park offices, tours, programs, group camps, enclosed shelters, playgrounds, pools, and beaches will remain closed as Missouri State Parks evaluates the implementation of phase one. Events, including third-party events planned in May, may be postponed or canceled.
“Never has access to our state parks been more important than during this period of COVID-19 response,” said Carol Comer, director of the Department of Natural Resources. “Missouri State Parks is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our visitors, volunteers, and staff, and we are working toward a resumption of additional services as soon as we can do so responsibly.”
Visitors are encouraged to check for individual park advisory updates and the latest actions.