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Riverbank Closures In Effect Despite Some County Openings
Community Center Park
Though the playground equipment at Community Center Park no longer sports the yellow caution tape indicating its closure, notices to that effect remain affixed to the equipment there. The city Parks and Recreation Department adheres to the statewide Coronavirus stay-at-home mandate, reiterating the current policy in the face of confusion caused by announcements of other jurisdictions opening their facilities to the public again. Ric McGinnis/The News

Park facilities under the jurisdiction of Stanislaus County, as well as a few nearby cities, have been reopened by their officials during the past week, but those in Riverbank remain closed.

Administrators at the Riverbank Parks and Recreation Department were forced to reiterate notices that the city was continuing stay-at-home regulations by reposting the closure notices on city parks, playgrounds, ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, and the Skate Park.

Jacob Myers Park as well as its Dog Park remain closed as well, including accompanying restrooms.

The opening announcement by the county, as well as nearby cities like Ceres, likely confused Riverbank residents. And that was coupled with the appearance at some local parks that, with the apparent removal of the caution tape evident the previous weekend, local parks were open for business again.

A closer look at some of these facilities indicate they are missing the yellow tape, but still sport city signs indicating the parks’ remaining closures. And the Skate Park never had the tape, just barricades with the closure notices attached.

While some parks around the county have been opened for use of the green space, officials said that playground equipment at the various parks is not being sanitized by county workers and use is “at your own risk” if you choose to utilize the play structures.

“We were given instructions to open with restrictions and then it was decided that that may not be safe so we were instructed to keep them closed until further notice,” said Riverbank Parks and Recreation Director Sue Fitzpatrick. “We did not replace the caution tape but did place barricades stating that playgrounds and courts are closed. Jacob Myers is closed as well.”

Due to the closures of parks the city has placed portable restrooms for public use.

“We have placed portable restrooms at Pioneer Park and across from city hall south,” added Fitzpatrick. “They are open 24/7 for the public.”

During the summer the Parks and Recreation Department offers the community a variety of activities and events. With the effects of COVID-19 their programming has changed a bit but they plan to offer certain things that will be determined on a fluid basis but staff is hopeful. As the days heat up the community swimming pool is a favorite activity for families to cool off and staff will be ready to open when directed.

“The recreation department is still planning on summer programs once we get the green light,” explained Fitzpatrick. “Our lifeguards and swim instructors are on standby ready to go. We will adapt our programs if needed to any restrictions. We encourage people to register for classes and camps to secure their spot. Full refunds will be given if we cannot proceed.”


News reporter Virginia Still contributed to this story.

Skate Park
Even though it hasn’t been encumbered by lengths of yellow caution tape to indicate its closure in the face of the statewide Coronavirus pandemic, barricades with attached notices are evident on the sidewalks surrounding the city Skate Park in downtown Riverbank. City officials have had to reissue its notice declaring the parks are closed to combat confusion caused by nearby jurisdictions reopening their own facilities. Ric McGinnis/The News