Town cites virus, fiscal reasons for closing park

File photoIn this April 28, 2018 file photo, the Hudson River Collegiate Baseball League was to have played all of its games at the Greenport Town Park in the summer of 2018.

GREENPORT — Greenport Town Park will remain closed to visitors until September due to the COVID-19 outbreak and for financial reasons, town officials said Tuesday.

In addition, seasonal programs usually hosted at the park, such as summer camp, baseball and softball games, and music at sunset are also suspended.

Greenport Town Supervisor Kathleen Eldridge could not be reached for comment on the extension of the park’s closure.

The town board will hold a workshop meeting Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. to ask questions about the closing, Town Board member Clayton Clark said Thursday.

In prior years, Friday evening concerts at Greenport Town Park brought the community together to enjoy live music and a view of the sunset over the Catskill Mountains.

As summer camps across the state are still waiting for the final word on this year’s activities, some are preemptively making the decision to cancel.

The six-week Greenport Town Park summer recreation program usually includes trips, arts and crafts, sports, water games and other recreation from early July through mid-August.

The Hudson Little League announced the cancellation of its spring 2020 season May 6 due to the pandemic.

On April 1, an announcement on the town website said the park would remain open.

“Everyone that utilizes the park needs to adhere to the guidelines for safety that have been imposed upon all of us,” according to the April 1 announcement. “Please abide by these safety guidelines so that we don’t have to close the park. Six-foot social distancing is key. Let’s all just work on keeping ourselves and others safe.”

Less than a week later, the park was closed.

Access was cut off to outdoor basketball courts, the playground and pavilions.

“People are encouraged to exercise self-discipline and adhere to the restrictions of social distancing,” according to the April 6 announcement. “The Greenport police will be patrolling.”

Eldridge declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic on March 17.

Town officials’ concerns were directed at the health and safety of the community, Eldridge said following the declaration.

“We are grateful to live in a community that looks out for and cares for each other,” she said.

The Greenport Conservation Area, operated by the Columbia Land Conservancy, remains open.

Abby Hoover is a reporter for the Register-Star. Contact her at ahoover@registerstar.com.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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