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Peoria Park District rules out swimming pools in 2020, unsure of summer camps

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Peoria (HOI) -- Peoria Park District executive director Emily Cahill says their swimming pools won't open this year, among other decisions the district is still weighing.

"There's a huge lack of social distancing that would be hard for us to monitor," Cahill said during the park district's Zoom meeting Wednesday night. Even if current state health advisories are relaxed during the summer, she says the manpower required to prep the pools would be better used elsewhere.

Cahill also ruled out re-opening the PlayHouse Children's Museum or resuming instructor-led classes this summer. Events like the July 3 fireworks show are also not happening.

She cast doubt on summer camps and the Peoria Zoo, while not ruling them out either. Among the other district services that she says are in the "maybe" category are:

  • Recreation Centers
  • RiverPlex
  • Luth Garden
  • Renting facilities for parties
  • Splash pads and playgrounds
  • Retail (gift shops and items like bird seed)

She says the district's golf courses, parks and trails can re-open with restrictions, per the executive order that takes effect Friday. Tennis courts are caught in a grey area, according to Cahill, and she's waiting for a go-ahead from the Illinois State Police to unlock them.

The district is still evaluating the items on its maybe list. They will announce decisions about the rest of 2020 in May or June. A "long-term re-imagination" beyond 2020 is due by July.

You can watch the meeting here.

Bobby Oler @bobbyoler

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