With Spring right around the corner, we know people will be flocking to the parks. Did you know that spending time outdoors can lower your blood pressure, help you think more clearly and, in general, improve your well-being?

However, you must follow COVID safety protocols. Park visitors should remember to wear face masks and practice physical distancing, even when walking their dogs or out on the trails. And remember to always clean up after your furry friends during your park visits. There's been a significant increase in park use, and stepping in dog waste can put a damper on your experience.

Our Visitor Experience (VEX) staff continues prioritizing the safety and well-being of all park visitors and will continue cleaning and sanitizing Frick Environmental Center and Schenley Plaza. We have increased the frequency of service to the public restrooms, tables, and chairs in these locations. We are also litter picking around the Northeast Fountain in Allegheny Commons and look forward to opening Mellon Square at the beginning of April.

The team will open the PNC Carousel in April following our COVID safety measures. Riders will need to stand six feet apart while waiting to enjoy the carousel. There are markers in place to assist with the distancing. The ride operator will clean the animals between each ride, so everyone will need to exit the ride and get back in line each time. We ask all riders over the age of two to wear a mask.

It's best to purchase a season pass at pittsburghparks.org. Not only is this a ticketless system safer, but it also allows you unlimited rides all season. For anyone who purchased a 2020 season pass, they will be honored for 2021. If you want to pay cash, go to the pick-up window at Asia Tea House. They will give you a token worth $2.00. If you're going to use a credit card, there is a token machine at the ride entrance. Chose the number of tickets you wish to purchase and insert your card. We have installed hand sanitizing stations at the entrance and exit of the ride and are frequently sanitizing the token machine.

Our Visitor Experience team is also planning recreational programming and is working with their partners to have fitness classes, mindfulness activities, live performances, games, and special events. Kids Day is also returning to Schenley Plaza and will take place the second Sunday of the month from 12 pm - 4 pm, June - October. We're reimagining the activities to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Additionally, the Allegheny Commons programming committee is pulling together low-impact activities, such as themed park walks, fitness classes, and children's storytime. You can also download the app Agents of Discovery and learn more about the park!