The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District will begin a phased reopening of USACE recreation areas that were closed due to COVID-19 across Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Skiatook Lake areas are scheduled to reopen on May 20. Many campsites are already reserved for the Memorial Day weekend.

The decision to reopen is specific to each recreation area and will be based largely on the safety of the staff and visitors. A complete list of closures can be found at www.swt.usace.army.mil.

All visitors should call the lake office for information on specific recreation openings (https://www.swt.usace.army.mil/Contact/Contact-a-Lake/). Recreation areas are expected to open in accordance with the schedule below.

District lakes in Oklahoma and Texas will begin opening recreation areas and facilities on May 20. Lakes not listed below will be opened by June 1.

Canton 580-886-2989

Copan/Hulah 918-532-4334

Eufaula 918-799-5843

Fort Gibson 918-682-4314

Fort Supply 580-766-2701

Hugo 580-326-3345

Kaw 580-762-5611

Keystone/Heyburn 918-865-2621

Texoma 903-465-4990

Oologah 918-443-2250

Pat Mayse 580-326-3345

Pine Creek 580-326-3345

Sardis 580-326-3345

Skiatook/Birch 918-396-3170

Tenkiller 918-487-5252

Campers who have campground reservations beginning May 15-20 at our facilities that are opening will be contacted by the local lake office for a partial or full refund.

Day use areas, group shelters, swim beaches and all common use area openings will be based on local health conditions.

“Our goal is to have all facilities open across the Tulsa District prior to June 1 and some parks open for the Memorial Day Weekend,” stated Tulsa District Commander, Col Scott Preston. “Our primary concern in conducting our operations is for the health and safety of the public, our employees and contractors.”

Social distancing and other restrictions required by local, state and federal authorities to include the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be in place. Current guidance provided by the CDC can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/parks-rec/index.html. If these restrictions cannot be followed recreation areas could be forced to close again.

DO

Visit parks that are close to your home

Prepare before you visit

Stay at least 6 feet away from others (“social distancing”) and take other steps to prevent COVID-19

Play it safe around and in swimming pools. Keep space between yourself and others

DON’T

Visit parks if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19

Visit crowded parks

Use playgrounds

Participate in organized activities or sports

Campers will be able to make reservations immediately for new reservations that begin May 20, 2020 or after. At this time, first come first serve campsites are not available and all Campground reservations and fees must be made in advance at www.recreation.gov

Visitors should also note:

• Many USACE sponsored events, tournaments, volunteer activities and public meetings remain cancelled until further notice.

• Lake offices remain closed to the public until further notice.

• Day use facilities, such as group shelters and beaches, are subject to evolving conditions and may not be available. Please call the local project for the latest information.

• Shoreline management activities including one-on-one contacts that requires USACE personnel to make a site visit or inspection may proceed consistent with force protection guidelines established by CDC, DOD, state and local direction.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the Tulsa District webpage for the latest information, or call the local lake office for current conditions before traveling to the lake. A complete list of USACE recreation areas with contact information is available at www.swt.usace.army.mil.

You may also visit www.recreation.gov to determine the status of campgrounds that are on the reservation system.

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.