St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page has ordered all County parks closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The parks will officially close at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 3.

“This will help us save lives. That’s our top priority,” Page said. “I had hoped we could keep the parks open, but the spread of COVID-19 is too big of a threat to the health of our residents.

“With warmer weather, our parks are becoming more and more crowded,” said St. Louis Parks Director Tom Ott. “During this health crisis, we cannot allow large groups of people to be together in one place.”

Several steps will be taken to make sure the public is aware of the park closings. They include placing barricades at park entrances that are not already gated and electronic message boards on streets that lead to entrances of Creve Coeur Lake Park, Jefferson Barracks Park, Lone Elk Park, and Grant’s Trail. The County Parks Department will collaborate with Great Rivers Greenway to barricade and provide signage for the trail networks in County parks.

The primary mode of enforcement will be goodwill and common sense. If needed, park rangers and County Police will patrol parks to ensure compliance.

The parks will remain close through at least April 22 to correspond with the stay-at-home order.