Missouri closing 4 state parks including 2 near Kansas City metro amid pandemic

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MISSOURI — Missouri State Parks is modifying operations at several locations around the state, and two parks north of the Kansas City metro are set to close.

Watkins Woolen Mill State Park in Clay County and Weston Bend State Park in Platte County will close on April 2 at 5 p.m. and will last until April 30, according to the organization’s website. Other park closures include St. Joe State Park, Castlewood State Park and Elephant Rocks State Park.

The closures come “out of an abundance of caution and in response to recent events” and are set to address overcrowding and concerns regarding public safety, according to a statement.

Here is a full list of modifications announced:

  • Castlewood State Park will close.
  • Elephant Rocks State Park will close.
  • Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and State Historic Site will close.
  • Weston Bend State Park will close.
  • St. Joe State Park will close the off-road vehicle riding area.
  • Gates to individual parking lots may close at all state parks when the lot reaches capacity.

“We understand the importance of physical activity and getting outside during this unprecedented time,” said Mike Sutherland, director of DNR’s Division of State Parks. “However, we have to make changes to operations at some facilities, due to overcrowding, to ensure public safety.”

Other parks around Kansas City remain open. However, many municipalities have banned use of playground equipment and ball courts.

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