Two Trumbull town parks reopen, Tashua Knolls Golf Course opens Tuesday
TRUMBULL — Two town parks have been reopened with another recreational area set to resume operations next week, according to First Selectman Vicki Tesoro.
On Friday, Old Mine Park and Twin Brooks Park opened at 9 a.m. and plans are to keep the park open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for passive recreation only: walking, biking and exercising. Playgrounds, rest rooms, athletic fields and pavilions remain closed.
Tashua Knolls Golf Course, including Tashua Glen and the driving range, will reopen May 5.
While the two parks may be open, Tesoro said social distancing guidelines remain in effect. Park rangers and police will be monitoring the parking areas and the walkways and trails.
“Face coverings where practical are recommended,” Tesoro said. “No more than five people can be in any one area at time. Residents are strongly advised not to interact with members outside their immediate household. Residents that are walking together should be limited to immediate family members that are living together. Park rangers reserve the right to remove patrons who do not practice safe social distancing.”
Other restrictions include a ban on any activity that encourages loitering or group gatherings such as picnics, sunbathing or group sports. Dogs must be leashed and there is a “carry-in, carry-out” trash policy in effect.
The decision to open the two parks on a limited basis was based on official data and in consultation with public health, federal, state and local emergency management officials, officials said. To date, Trumbull has had 365 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 58 deaths. Statewide 27,000 people have tested positive for the virus. There have been 2,257 deaths and 1,650 people remain hospitalized.
The numbers of hospitalized patients, though, has been in slow but steady decline for more than a week, according to official state numbers. The decline indicates that the virus has passed its peak, and state officials have announced plans to begin allowing certain businesses to reopen, with limits, later this month.
All vehicles entering the parks are required to have a 2019 or 2020 park sticker. Parking is allowed only in designated parking areas and is not allowed along roadways with no parking signs or on the grass. Once at capacity, the park rangers will follow a two-cars-in, two-cars-out protocol. Vehicles will not be allowed to form a queue and wait to enter, nor will rangers hold a spot for a vehicle to gain entry.
Twin Brooks Park will be limited to 60 vehicles. Vehicles may only enter at the Brock Street entrance. The Franklin Street lot will be open for parking only in designated parking spots. The vehicles that park in the Franklin Street lot are not included in the maximum vehicle count for the main park.
While the Parks and Recreation office is closed, residents may request a parking permit via email. Park permits take three to five days to process. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include a photo/scan of the following: A current, non-expired, vehicle registration reflecting a tax town of Trumbull (number 144) and a valid driver’s license. The name on the license must match the name on the vehicle registration.
When Tashua Knolls reopens Tuesday, there will be numerous coronavirus-related restrictions in place, Tesoro said.
“We worked with Director of Golf Bobby Brown and the Golf Course Commission to ensure the safety of the golfers and our town employees,” she said.
Among the restrictions is that golf will be for walkers only. Golfers may use their personal push carts, but cart rentals will not be available.
Social gathering in the parking lot or anywhere on the grounds is prohibited, according to Brown.
“Please maintain social distancing at all times when checking in, while on the course, using the practice facilities and when leaving the facility,” he said. “Even if you are playing with family members you live with, it is important to maintain the six feet social distancing protocol. Perception of public can affect our ability to remain open.”
Golfers will tee off at 15-minute intervals. Tee times must be reserved online or over the phone. No walk-ups will be allowed. The buildings and golf shop remain closed, and there is no water available on the course.
Play on the course also will be a little different than golfers may be used to. Brown said golfers must putt with the flagsticks in the holes. Rakes also have been removed from the sand bunkers, he said.
“Golf maintenance staff will periodically groom bunkers but kindly smooth over footprints and marks in the sand with the sole of your shoe before leaving one,” he said.
Scorecards and pencils also will not be available. Brown reminded golfers that Tashua’s attire requirements remain in effect, and that golfers must carry all their trash out with them
“If you bring it, you must take it,” he said.