During the pandemic, the perceived importance of Springfield Township's parks system was heightened as an essential service to the community. Equitable access to parks proved to be of immense value, both physically and mentally, to countless people seeking to effectively cope with Covid-19 restrictions and quarantine measures.
The Parks and Recreation Department has aligned each Township Park within the classification criteria defined by the National Recreation and Park Association. The purpose of this classification practice is to clarify the level of services and amenities available within each park property for potential Township park system users. Specifically, this classification will simplify which parks are available for athletic rental use, event rental use, and recreational or passive use.
While many indoor event venues closed during COVID-19, the Parks and Recreation Department received numerous inquiries to utilize public parks for private events. As several parks abut residential homes, it would be seemingly inappropriate to host events that would adversely impact neighboring properties. Concerns regarding impact on neighbors include but are not limited to noise volume, increased traffic, parking disparity, residual garbage, etc. There is also a concern that the use of parks with athletic fields could result in unintentional damages to the fields or conditions that would require additional costs to the Township or local sport organizations to make the fields safe.
To eliminate potential negative impacts, the Parks and Recreation Department will prohibit use of Mini Parks and Neighborhood Parks for events as the intended use of parks falling under this classification is to provide an open/recreational space for local youth and families within the immediate vicinity. The Department is also prohibiting the use of Natural Resource Parks and Open/Green Space and Trails for events as those areas are intended for passive recreation and the conservation/preservation of habitats and green space.
Instead of these areas, events will be restricted to the Township Community Park, Cisco Park. Cisco is large enough to accommodate larger groups and isolated enough from residential areas as to minimize the potential negative impact on neighbors that could result from an event.
Please note that the recommendations contained herein do not restrict small residential/informal gatherings of 24 people or less. It does not apply to local sports organizations who permit use of Township athletic fields for practices, regular games, or special tournaments. The intent of these recommendations is to curtail the potential negative impacts of larger (25 people or more) events organized by non-Township associated organizations and/or local sports organizations by restricting such events to our largest and most accommodating park (Cisco Park).
Please see the attached document for a park-by-park breakdown of services available in each location. Visit our Document page for park and athletic field permits.