As of Wednesday, May 27, the barricades prohibiting vehicles from entering Overton Park have been removed and all access points are now open. However, please note that many park amenities remain closed, including playgrounds, restrooms, drinking fountains, and the dog park. Because we cannot keep all these facilities sanitized after every user, it is unsafe to use them at this time. We are monitoring CDC, Shelby County Health Department, and National Recreation & Park Association guidelines to determine when it is safe to open each of these amenities.
Large gatherings are still being discouraged by the CDC, particularly gatherings where food or utensils are shared. As a result, Overton Park Conservancy has made the decision not to accept applications for pavilion and event rentals until further notice. The City of Memphis will have courtesy crews in Overton Park and other parks over the coming weeks to discourage people from gathering in clusters.
While restrooms remain closed, we will be offering popup handwashing stations near both Rainbow Lake Pavilion and East Parkway Pavilion starting this week. While you should avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces in the park, we want to encourage everyone to be safe and continue washing their hands frequently.
- Continue to limit your visits to small groups, preferably members of your own household, and limit the duration of your visits. Now that access has opened up, it’s more important than ever to keep your visits short to avoid overcrowding. If you can continue to walk or bike into the park, please do so in order to let others visit who may not have had a chance over the last few months.
- We cannot stress this enough: please leash your dogs. We know the closure of the dog park has meant dogs don’t have an authorized place to be off-leash in Overton Park, but the leash laws are there for many reasons–to protect your dog and others, to protect people from being accosted, to avoid waste accumulating on the ground when dogs are out of sight of their owners, and to protect sensitive wildlife habitat. We also don’t currently know whether it’s safe to come in contact with dogs that live in other households; off-leash dogs often take that decision away from people who are following the rules. Please don’t put other park visitors in the position to ask you to leash your dog. We ask for your patience until the dog park opens back up.