As part of the City of Memphis’ Phase 3 re-opening plan, Rainbow Lake and East Parkway Playgrounds will officially reopen tomorrow–Friday, October 9. We’re so excited to welcome everyone back!
We want to remind visitors that because of the difficulty of keeping playground equipment sanitized, all play is at your own risk. We’ll continue to keep hand-washing stations available near both playgrounds.
We need your help to get park amenities ready for increased use! Rainbow Lake Playground and Overton Bark are getting new safety surfacing, and East Parkway Playground has been pressure-washed for a clean start. We’ve re-striped the speed bumps in the park for better visibility. When pavilions re-open, we’ll need to rent vehicles to move large picnic tables back on-site (they’ve been out getting refurbished in the meantime).
Our costs for re-opening facilities will run about $15,000, and we have an incredible matching opportunity: If our community contributes $5,000 between now and next Friday, October 16, International Paper will match those gifts with $10,000. That means your $50 gift becomes $150 with just the click of a button! Will you help us reach our goal of $5,000 in community gifts this week?
We’re so grateful for International Paper’s generosity, and for yours. Make your gift here and share this rare opportunity to triple your gift with friends!
A Note on Restrooms and Pavilions
At this time, we plan to keep water fountains turned off and pavilions and restrooms closed—and not just because they’re the hardest facilities to keep clean. As we’ve managed the park over the past eight years, we’ve learned that the #1 amenity that encourages large gatherings is the availability of restrooms. In any other year, this is a great thing! We’ve so missed hosting your family reunions, birthday parties, and company picnics in 2020.
But we know that large gatherings are one of the easiest ways to spread COVID-19. Unlike restaurants and bars, there are no doors to Overton Park that indicate when a gathering is about to reach its capacity. That’s why in order to be good stewards of our community’s health, we think it’s wise to do our part to temporarily keep gatherings relatively small and brief. We continue to encourage you to plan shorter visits to the park, allowing higher turnover so that more people can enjoy the outdoors and still have room to spread out.
We will continue evaluating the closures on a regular basis and hope to be able to reopen fully soon. We’re grateful for our partnership with the City’s Division of Parks and Neighborhoods in helping to develop plans for safe re-opening of facilities across the city!