With all of the uncertainty and implications from Covd-19, this has been a very unprecedented year. The advent of shelter in place, working from home and social distancing has resulted in a noticeable increase in the use of city’s parks, trails and outdoor open spaces. This has allowed residents, community members and other visitors of the North Branch community to be able to explore all that the North Branch’s parks, trails and open spaces offer.

Based on significant feedback from the community and their desire to hold the Concerts in the Parks series, the city moved forward with the programmed events beginning on June 30. The events were planned in close coordination with the performers, the East Central Regional Arts Council, and following direction and guidance from the Chisago County Emergency Management Department, the Governor’s office and CDC guidelines to be able to host the events. The events were well received with between 225-250 people attending the events!

The City’s Parks, Trails and Open Space (PTOS) Commission has continued to be busy with developing a strategic plan for the city’s parks, trails and open space system. The plan will be utilized for developing implementation strategies, promotion and improvement prioritization for the next 5-10 years. The PTOS Commission has a current vacancy and is seeking applicants to help accomplish this! If you are interested in help please visit www.ci.north-branch.mn.us or contact North Branch City Hall at 651-674-8113 for more information.

Lastly, get out and safely enjoy the city’s parks and trails system!

Below are some tips to practice social distancing while doing so:

• Use park amenities like playground structures, benches, picnic tables and water fountains at their own risk, while keeping in mind these items are not sanitized.

• Do not use parks or trails if you are feeling ill.

• Observe the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from others at all times.

• Avoid social gatherings at parks including picnicking, sports and other group hangouts.

• Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and after visiting parks or trails.

• Share the trail and warn other users of your presence and as you pass.

• Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms and/or water fountains.

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