Playgrounds Closed

A sign tells visitors to a City Park playground that the area is closed until further notice, while caution tape covers the equipment. The city of Union announced the closure of all its playgrounds Thursday, March 26, due to coronavirus concerns.  Missourian Photo.

Union’s parks and recreation department has announced a schedule for its reopening of park sites.

Perhaps the most anticipated opening is the Splash-N-Swimplex, which opens with a limited capacity to Union residents only on July 1. Residents will need to bring a water or trash bill to show they live in Union. 

The pool also will be available for private swim lessons.

More details on the pool opening will be released at a later date, Parks Director Chad Pohlmann said in a video on the parks department’s Facebook page (@UnionPRD).

The splash pad in Veterans Memorial Park was scheduled to open for the season Friday, June 5, the same day all park playgrounds and restrooms reopened.

Next up will be basketball and tennis courts, which reopen Monday, June 8. The city announced the closure of basketball courts March 31, after around 20 young people were seen playing.

Park staff will clean facilities twice a day and work to provide a safe and sanitary environment, Pohlmann said in the video. Signs will be posted showing social distancing procedures.

Upcoming events in parks include the first movie night at City Park on June 19, with a showing of Wonder Park. Other movie nights are July 17 (The Secret Life of Pets 2),Aug. 21 (The Lion King)and Sept. 18 (Aladdin). 

The July 3 fireworks show at Veterans Park will be held without concerts or concessions.

Because it was too late to go forward with the June Concert in the Park and the fireworks concert was canceled, the first Concert in the Park is now planned for Aug. 7 with the Melissa Potter Band. Crossfire is scheduled to perform Sept. 4.

Pohlmann is working on rescheduling Pay Dirt, Whiskey Raccoons and the Paul Cockrum Trio, who had been set for the first three concerts before they were canceled, he said.

A lack of active COVID-19 cases in Union was among the reasons given when the board of aldermen voted unanimously to reopen at a special meeting on Monday, June 1. But since then, the city’s first coronavirus death, a 94 year-old woman, was announced, and the number of active COVID-19 cases in Union has increased from two to five.

On Thursday, June 4, Franklin County announced that three residents at the Sunset Health Care Center, a skilled care facility located across W. Park Road from the city pool, were confirmed for COVID-19. In addition, two employees at the facility who live outside Union had positive cases.

The positive cases at the skilled care center are not impacting the city’s planning for the reopening of the pool and other facilities, Pohlmann told The Missourian.

“I know it’s geographically close to our park and to our pool, but they are very distant in terms of activity and use,” he said. “Very rarely do the patrons of that facility interact with the patrons of the park.”

Athletic fields opened for rent on Wednesday, June 3.