City Announces Summer 2020 Recreation Facilities Rules

May 8, 2020

Following the recommendation of the City Recreation Director Rus Wilson, City Manager Karen Conard announces the following rules, tentatively effective at the end of the Governor’s Stay At Home 2.0 order, May 18, 2020, for the operation of the City’s outdoor recreation and park venues:

Closures for the 2020 Season

  • Peirce Island outdoor pool is closed for this summer.
  • The Independence Day fireworks originally scheduled for July 3, 2020 are cancelled. The City thanks sponsor Jim Teetzel and Wilcox Industries for their understanding and support for this difficult decision and disappointing news.
  • Camp Funstuff is cancelled for this year. But the Recreation Department is working on a number of summer season “boutique programs” (with 8 or fewer participants). Details to be announced.

Prescott Park & Four Tree Island, Peirce Island Boat Launch & Marina

  • Prescott Park remains open for passive recreation which, complying with the Governor’s guidelines, means no congregating in groups of more than 10 people, cloth face coverings must be worn and physical distancing of 6 feet or more.
  • Only the single-stall public bathroom at the Shaw Warehouse is open, and is maintained regularly. (All other public bathrooms are closed.)
  • Peirce Island and Four Tree Island remain open for passive recreation.
  • Peirce Island boat launch remains open. Access to the boat launch is drive up, with a staff member on site. Non-residents of Portsmouth pay the access fee with little to no staff contact.  
  • Prescott Park marina will open for the Portsmouth residents who lease boat slips for the summer. The rest of the marina remains closed.
  • Prescott Park, Peirce Island and Four Tree Island and other water access points will be monitored by Recreation Department staff throughout the summer. No swimming is allowed.

South Mill Pond Courts & Portsmouth High School Field Complex

  • South Mill Pond tennis courts, pickle ball courts and basketball courts (for 2-person hoops-shooting only – no games) will be open to Portsmouth residents only from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.
  • Portsmouth High School field complex will be open to Portsmouth residents only from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.
  • These locations will be monitored by Recreation Department staff.

All other City playgrounds remain closed, indefinitely.

  • Until further notice, no organized teams of any sport may practice and/or play on city fields.
  • Guidance on this may change as circumstances change.
  • Take advantage of the City’s network of parks and off-leash dog parks