COVID-19 Impacts on Recreation Programs & Parks
To view recreation or park information, please click on the corresponding tab below.
Health Order Expands Access to Recreation & Parks
On June 18, 2020, the Sonoma County Health Officer issued a new Health Order that eases some public health restrictions on outdoor recreational activities. Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks is excited to open recreational opportunities for our community! We have implemented the safety protocols required under the Health Order to open, and are working to complete deferred maintenance at City parks and facilities.
Recreation Facilities & Activities Now Open
- Pools for Lap Swimming, Masters Swimming & Water Fitness The Health Order allows City pools to open for pre-registered lap swimming, fitness classes, masters swimming, summer camps, and day camps. No open-access swimming is allowed.
- Sports Fields for Sports Training: In accordance with the new Health Order, opportunities for sports training on City sports fields or turf areas are now being provided to groups of up to 10 people from different households with a Sports Field permit only. Staff are working to create and implement this new permit process and applications are being accepted at email@example.com.
- Boating & Sailing Camps at Lake Ralphine at Howarth Park
- Boat Rentals at Lake Ralphine at Howarth Park: The Boathouse at Lake Ralphine at Howarth Park is open to the public for weekend boat rentals, reservations only. The City’s modified day camp programs will be utilizing the rental boats Monday thru Friday.
- Day Camps and Specialty Camps: Registration is underway for a series of week-long modified summer day camp programs and specialty camp programs with sessions running through August 6, 2020. Limited space is available.
- Yoga for Adults: Gentle Somatic Yoga and Yoga for Every Body classes are now available at Finley Community Center.
Facilities & Activities to Remain Closed
- Recreation swimming, swim lessons, pool rentals and birthday parties
- Tournaments, competitions, sport events and live audiences
- Groups areas, picnic sites, playgrounds, sports fields for public access, volleyball, handball, skate parks, RC track, horseshoe courts, bicycle pump track, amphitheaters, amusements, concessions, BBQs, drinking fountains.
Suspended/Modified Recreation Programs & Services
- To view all of the currently offered activities and classes, start here.
- All community events and gatherings are cancelled until further notice. No park, picnic, or event permits will be issued until the Health Order allows them.
- Community Centers and Facilities: The front counter at Steele Lane Community Center is open for program registration; Finley Community Center remains closed. Limited facility rentals are now allowed under Sonoma County health orders. For current availability please click here.
- Senior Programs, including the Senior Expo, are suspended until further notice.
- Howarth Park amenities closed until further notice include the train, carousel, pony rides, snack bar, and animal barn. All City events and permitted events in Howarth Park, including Kids to Parks Day and Movies in the Park are cancelled.
- Community Volunteer events are suspended until further notice.
- Work Experience is cancelled through the summer.
- To Learn More about Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks programs and services, visit Santa Rosa Recreation & Park’s web page.
City Parks Open with Limited Amenities
Most City parks are now open, with limitations to certain amenities and features and restrictions on usage. Please note:
- Face coverings must be worn when coming within 6 feet of other people at a park.
- All playgrounds and picnic areas remain closed.
- Many public restrooms remain closed. Portable alternatives are available at select locations.
List of Available City Park Amenities
For more information about park status, please view the full list of open parks and available amenities.
If you have a disability or limited mobility, you may schedule a reservation for transportation accommodations to your nearby park by calling 707-546-1999.
- Locate the neighborhood or community park nearest your home
- Order of the Sonoma County Health Officer: Amended Parks Closure Order
Frequently Asked Questions On Parks and Recreation Related to Health Orders Issued by the Sonoma County Health Officer
To help clarify what the Health Orders mean for use of Santa Rosa city parks and recreation facilities, the City has developed the following list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
What does the new Health Order issued by the Sonoma County Health Officer (effective June 5) mean for users of City of Santa Rosa parks and recreation facilities?
The new Health Order (effective June 5) eases some public health restrictions on park amenities and recreation activities. In the City of Santa Rosa, the following are now open or opening soon: dog parks, pools for lap swimming and water fitness classes - ONLY and with advanced registration required, Sports Fields for Sports Training - ONLY and with City permit required, boat rentals at Lake Ralphine at Howarth Park -advanced reservations required opening June 20th. Additionally, more Recreation programs and services are coming available in line with the new Health Order, including modified summer day camps and boating and sailing camps now available. For more information and to register for programs, visit: srcity.org/3289/Recreation-Programs
What does the Sonoma County Health Officer’s Amended Parks Closure Order (effective June 3) mean for users of City of Santa Rosa Parks?
Sonoma County’s public health officer has amended an order limiting parks access to allow residents to drive to parks and coastal beaches for lower risk recreation. The order is effective June 3, 2020 until further notice and replaces an order that allowed residents to use only those parks they could walk or bike to from their homes. For the City of Santa Rosa, this update means that Santa Rosa residents may now enjoy basketball, bocce ball, tennis and pickleball, and non-motorized boating either solo or with other household members at some City parks that are open close to their homes. Additionally, parking lots and portable restrooms are open at parks that have open amenities. A list of parks with open amenities and parking lots is available HERE.
You must stay at least 6 feet from other parks users who are not members of your household. You must carry a face covering and wear the covering when you cannot maintain that distance.
How can I access and use Santa Rosa City parks?
The June 3, 2020 health order allows you to walk, bike or drive from your home to those City parks that are open. The intent is to provide options for basic outdoor exercise while residents shelter near home.
What if I have a disability or am not physically able to walk or bike to a park near my home?
Some parking lots at City Parks are now open for use, during regularly scheduled hours, sunrise to sunset. A list of parks with parking lots that are open for use is available HERE. To locate the neighborhood or community park nearest your home, please use the following link: SRCity.org/1021/Find-a-Park.
What amenities are open and what amenities are closed at City parks?
OPEN: Dog parks, basketball, bocce ball, sports fields with City permit ONLY, swimming pools for exercise ONLY and with advanced registration required, tennis and pickleball, and non-motorized boating either solo or with other household members is allowed at some City parks. A list of open park amenities and parking lots at specific City parks is available HERE.
CLOSED: Playgrounds, sports fields for general public use, swimming pools for general public use, picnic areas, skate parks, barbecue areas, drinking fountains, volleyball, handball and horseshoe courts, the RC and bicycle pump tracks, amphitheaters, amusement rides, concessions, motorized boating, and other gathering or high-touch areas remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What guidelines or rules are in place for using open amenities, such as tennis or basketball courts?
- For solo use or play with other individuals from same household
- Players must bring their own equipment - no shared equipment outside of household members
- Keep 6 feet of physical distancing between you and others
- Follow posted rules
- A City permit is required for use by groups/leagues
If parking lots are open, why can’t I drive to any park I choose?
Driving is restricted to parks nearby your home to reduce the potential for crowding and to support Sonoma County’s shelter-in-place mandate. When we began sheltering in place, record numbers of visitors traveled to parks. Crowding made social distancing difficult, violated the intent of the Shelter-In-Place directive and resulted in the closure of all parks within Sonoma County. This amended order restores some parks access while reducing the likelihood of crowding.
What if I drive to a park anyway?
Many parking lots remain closed, and many off-site parking areas are temporarily restricted. If you drive to a location near a park and walk to the park from there, you will violate the order and could be issued a citation.
What if the parking lot of the park nearby my home is closed?
If the parking lot of the park nearby your home is closed, you may access the park on foot or by bicycle. The County’s Shelter-In-Place order also allows you to walk, jog, and bike on your neighborhood streets and to engage in home-based outdoor activities like gardening.
Am I required to wear a face covering in a park?
You must carry a face covering when you are in a park, and you must comply with the Sonoma County Health Officer’s Order regarding face coverings. That Order requires you to wear a face covering outdoors if you are unable to stay 6 feet from others, such as when passing on a trail.
Are Class 1 trails open to cyclists?
Class 1 multi-use trails (paved paths separated from roads) like the Santa Rosa Creek Trail and the County-operated Joe Rodota Trail are open to cyclists as well as pedestrians. The March 23 parks closure order temporarily prohibited cycling on Class 1 trails.
Can I use sports fields?
All group recreational facilities such as playing fields remain closed to the general public at this time. Groups/leagues may apply for a City permit to use City sports fields in accordance with Public Health Orders. Email: Sports@SRCity.org.
Is fishing or boating allowed at Santa Rosa City parks?
Pedestrian access is available for fishing at Howarth Memorial Park and Nagasawa Community Parks. Additionally, the boat launch at Nagasawa Community Park is open to non-motorized boating and fishing. The boat dock and boat launch at Howarth Park is scheduled to be opened June 20. Pedestrians may access the fly-casting pond at Galvin Community Park to practice fly-casting.
Can I exercise on schoolyards and school fields?
You are encouraged to contact your local school district for further information prior to accessing any school yards and school fields.
Are golf courses open?
Yes, the modified Shelter in Place Health Order issued May 1, 2020, allows golf courses and golf driving ranges to open with strict social distancing and hygiene protocols in place.
Why can’t we use the paths and trails within the Bennett Valley Golf Course for exercising?
The Bennett Valley Golf Course paths are designed for use by golfers. The operator of the golf course, who is contracted by the City, has not provided walking/jogging access in order to protect the golf course property during this time when limited maintenance is being provided. Trespassers may be subject to citation. Citizens are encouraged to use Galvin Community Park located immediately adjacent to the golf course for walking and jogging.
Can I ride my horse into a park near my home?
Horseback riding is not allowed within any City of Santa Rosa park at any time.
What if I see people gathering in a park and/or not abiding by the guidelines for social distancing?
To report violations of the Health Order within the City of Santa Rosa, please contact the Santa Rosa Police Department non-emergency line at 707-528-5222, or report violations online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep in mind that members of the same household are not required to observe social distancing protocols.