GUEST COLUMN: Enjoy Erie County Parks All Summer Long

Modified: July 2, 2020 1:42pm

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With summer in full swing, having spent many months sheltered at home due to COVID-19, many Erie County residents are heading outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather. A number of renovations have taken place in our various parks while quarantine has been in effect. Our Parks Department and I encourage folks to get out to our parks. However, the coronavirus is still here and therefore we must continue wearing masks and follow social distancing guidelines which have been successful in reducing the spread in our community. We want everyone to experience our parks safely, in such a manner that we do not further the spread of this potentially deadly virus. Our parks staff has done a tremendous job maintaining the land and facilities and keeping them safe for visitors.

Erie County owns and maintains two golf courses – Elma Meadows in Elma and Grover Cleveland in the City of Buffalo. We are excited to announce a massive tee box renovation capital project which is taking place at Elma Meadows. In addition to this, we will be fixing some of the overdue drainage issues at Grover Cleveland. Both courses are challenging and unique for players of all abilities, and Grover is the home of the 1912 US Open. Carts are now available and golfers may ride with a partner from the same household.

Chestnut Ridge Park is the crown jewel of our parks system and consistently the most popular destination. With thousands of acres of beautiful land, hiking trails, the famous Eternal Flame, and sports facilities—there is something for everyone. We have rehabilitated four beautiful WPA comfort stations and they will soon be ready. Since Chestnut Ridge is so popular, it has a tendency to get a little crowded. I ask you to try visiting a different park if so. You can find the map of all parks and forestland in Erie County by visiting: .

We are excited to announce the opening of some of the most popular attractions found in many of our parks. Disc golf courses are now re-opened for use as well as the basketball and tennis courts. Dog owners can now let their furry companion free to roam at the Black Rock Canal and Ellicott Creek off leash dog areas (or bark parks.) In addition, camping is now available at Sprague Brook Park. Make a reservation online at Reminder: There are no walk-ins for golf or camping at this time.

Thanks to all of your persistent social distancing efforts and wearing masks, we have seen our hospitalizations and case rate decline in Western New York. While it is encouraging to see our community gradually re-open, we cannot let up now. Whether you’re enjoying a restaurant, retail store, barbecue, or a park, there is still the possibility of transmitting the coronavirus to a friend or loved one and their contracting COVID-19 as a result. So, find your next adventure at an Erie County Park safely, and responsibly.