Carbondale Declares Emergency; Park District Restricts Ballfields, Playgrounds

Apr 7, 2020

Credit Carbondale / Carbondale

Carbondale leaders met in special session Monday evening, to officially declare a state of emergency within the city and to discuss how to enforce violations of emergency orders.

The city joined numerous other local governments in its emergency declaration, which gives additional power to close government facilities, enforce new rules from the state and federal level, and change the way meetings and committees are handled.

Mayor Mike Henry says he had hoped to avoid the declaration, and council members say they hope it can be rescinded as soon as possible.

Credit Carbondale Park District

Meanwhile, Carbondale's Park District is shutting down playgrounds and ballfields as a part of the statewide shelter-in-place order.

The Park District had already shuttered the Life Community Center, Hickory Lodge, Hickory Ridge Golf Course, and both the Alice Wright and Kids Korner childcare centers. But playgrounds, basketball courts, and playing fields remained open.

The change means most areas of the parks are now closed - including picnic areas and shelters. Park District officials say you can still access the areas to walk or exercise outside, but they encourage social distancing if people choose to visit.