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ANN ARBOR, MI – May 15, 2020, Rolling Hills Water Park at Rolling Hills County Park and Blue Heron Bay Spray Park at Independence Lake County Park, operated by Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission (WCPARC), will be closed for the summer.
Blue Heron Bay Spray Park was set to close for the 2020 season due to infrastructure issues and much needed repairs, and the decision was made in April to close for the season.
Social distancing cannot be achieved by swimmers in a wave pool or other water attractions, according to Rhonda Bouma, Superintendent at Rolling Hills County Park. WCPARC made this decision with input from both staff and the Washtenaw County Health Department.
Water attractions like the wave pool and lazy river at Rolling Hills Water Park, are popular with swimmers who lounge on inflatable tubes in close proximity to one another while the currents and wave action make it impossible to maintain proper social distancing. “The safety and well-being of our patrons is always our most important consideration. We explored multiple avenues of getting the facility open for the season, but in each scenario, we were unable to ensure the safety of our staff and guests,” Bouma said.
“This would have been our 30th season of operation, and we always look forward to summer season. It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but it was the right one to help keep our community members safe,” Bouma said. The Washtenaw County and Recreation Commission agreed that closing the water park for the 2020 season was a tough decision to make, but with the spread of COVID-19, the health and wellness of the community is top priority.
In addition, following the Governor’s Executive Order, the beach at Independence Lake County Park is closed. Fortunately, “with a glimmer of good news, we’re happy to announce our plans to open the beach at Independence Lake Park on June 5,” said Brian Machemer, Superintendent at Independence Lake County Park. “We will be operating the park at a reduced capacity following recommended guidelines and social distancing measures,” Machemer said.
Staff look forward to opening Rolling Hills Water Park and Blue Heron Bay Spray Park in 2021.
Coy VaughnDirector, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission[email protected]734-971-6337
The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, founded in 1973, currently manages 14 parks and 33 nature preserves totaling more than 6,000 acres. Washtenaw County Parks provides recreational and nature-based programming. Visit us at washtenaw.org/parks on Facebook and Instagram, or call 734-971-6337.