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Cleveland Metroparks To Restart Outdoor Education Programming

Cleveland Metroparks will resume outdoor education programming Oct. 17 after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Attendance will be restricted to allow for distancing.

Metroparks staff will provide daily guided hikes at a variety of locations throughout the day. Visitors will need to register in advance online in order to take part, said Director of Outdoor Experiences and Education Mary Rouse.

Groups will be limited to 10 people or less, including the instructor, Grouse said, and masks will be required for all participants.

“We’re doing our very best to keep this safe,” Rouse said. “Part of the reason we’re offering so many programs is because the groups will be limited to the small size, but that will also provide a really great experience.”

About 40 different activities will take place each week, including hikes tailored for different age groups and specific interests, such as birding and history. Guests will be limited to one program per week, Rouse said. Registration will open two weeks before an event takes place.

“There’s definitely a demand, and we’re really anticipating a strong response to this,” Rouse said.

Participants will need to fill out a questionnaire about their COVID-19 status prior to the event, Rouse said.

All programming will remain outdoors through the fall and winter, Rouse said, though event times and frequency may change due to weather.

“We’ll adjust the programming according to any guidelines; if we’re allowed to have larger groups we’d do that,” Rouse said. “We are really at this point planning to keep the programming outside because our buildings are still closed to the public. Those require a lot more in terms of cleaning and other precautions, if we’re inside.”

All programs will be free to the public, Rouse said, excluding events that require equipment rental.

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