Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry

The St. Louis County Department of Pubic Health, the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-10 Task Force and the City of St. Louis have issued this joint statement on youth sports:

The St. Louis Metropolitan Area is in the middle of a dramatic increase of COVID-19 cases and there is widespread transmission of the virus occurring in the community, particularly in the younger population. This unfortunately increases the risk of spread to everyone, particularly when people gather in groups. Furthermore, children will further suffer as this increase in activity threatens the ability of children to return safely to school and to sports this fall.

While the risk of transmission during competitive youth sports games is most likely low, all of the activities surrounding the games increase the likelihood of spreading the virus. This includes teams, coaches and parents gathering before, during and after games and practices, carpooling and other activities associated with participating in sports teams, especially if proper mitigation practices are not in place.

For these reasons, the St. Louis Sports Medicine COVID-19 Task Force, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and the City of St. Louis Department of Health all agree that for now, competitive activities like games and scrimmages should be paused.

Although there have been COVID-19 cases associated with sports participation, it is the significant amount of virus circulating within the community that is the primary reason for having to roll back youth sports activities because they can create conditions for continued spread. The same conditions exist for any activity where person-to-person interaction is high, where groups of people get together for proms, graduation ceremonies or in bars, or where mitigation practices are low.

We all agree that participation in sports benefits young people physically, mentally and emotionally. Unfortunately, because of the significant spread of the virus within the community, these actions, as well as others, are needed until our communities are safe again.

Regardless of these constraints, the new recommendations still allow for physical activity -- such as sports skills and conditioning, both of which will allow our athletes to continue to develop as young athletes -- but in a much more controlled environment. Both the Department of Public Health’s guidelines and the task force’s recommendations contain these measures.

Everyone in the community can help bring competitive youth sports back by consistently wearing masks in public, social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, emphasizing the importance of disclosing exposures with parents and athletes, avoiding congregating in crowds, including informal gatherings, and avoiding traveling with teams to other areas that aren’t practicing similar measures to control the virus. These measures will help decrease the virus in the community and allow all of us to get back to doing the things we love, such as youth sports.

Ruth Park Golf Course

Starting Monday, May 4th; Ruth Park Golf Course and Driving Range will be open for play. The golf course will be open for its normal hours of 6:00 am to sunset for walking only.

• Starting times can be reserved by calling 314-727-4800 by MasterCard or Visa only.

• No cash will be taken.

• Online starting times will be taken but you will still need to call the golf shop for payment.

• Flag sticks are to remain in at all times and cups have been inverted for easy ball retrieval.

• Ball washers and drinking water will not be available on the course (coolers or fountains).

Please be safe and hope to see you soon.

University City Parks Update

On May 1, 2020; tennis courts, trails, and general open areas of the parks will reopen. However, park users will need to follow all CDC guidelines and County Executive Orders pertaining to social distancing.

City Manager Gregory Rose has announced that the Ruth Park Golf Course will reopen on May 15th, if not before. Please check the City website for updates.

In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, the City will continue to follow all Executive Orders and CDC guidelines. In doing so, the City of University City has taken the following actions:

• All playgrounds, Basketball Courts, Dog Park, Athletic Fields, Pavilions, Restrooms and Facilities have been closed until further notice.

• Summer Camp Program has been canceled.

• Mulch services have been suspended.

• Pavilions and athletic field reservations have been canceled and/or put on hold until further notice, and all programs, special events and activities have also been canceled until further notice.

• Centennial Commons memberships will be extended an additional month for each month the facility is closed.

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The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry  is responsible for the administration and operation of City parks, recreation programs and events, and maintaining over 30,000 trees that line the streets and parks of University City. During the school year, the Department also operates a public swimming program in the University City High School indoor swimming pool (Natatorium).

Scholarship Information

The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry has developed a limited scholarship program for University City residents who meet the qualifying income requirements. For more information, contact Centennial Commons, (314) 505-8617.

City Facilities

The major facilities and properties are:
  • 19 Parks of Approximately 255 Acres
  • Green Space of About 34 Acres
  • 15 Play Equipment Areas
  • 15 Ball Diamonds
  • 10 Soccer and Football Fields
  • 2 Ponds
  • Heman Park Swimming Pool
  • Heman Park Community Center
  • Centennial Commons Recreation Facility
  • Golf Course

Closure Announcement 3-2020