The Trustees of Reservations will reopen deCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, the grounds of the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Naumkeag in Stockbridge, and World’s End in Hingham, and Crane Beach in Ipswich on May 19 “on a controlled basis to provide residents of those communities more access to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Massachusetts cultural and land conservation nonprofit announced.

“We know how difficult it has been to get outside, get exercise, and connect with nature over the past weeks, and we are pleased and proud to be expanding access to our special places while balancing the need to slow the spread of the virus,” the Trustees said on Twitter. The deCordova Museum, Fruitlands Museum and other buildings at the sites “will remain closed until further notice.”

The move is the next step in the gradual reopening of Trustees properties across the region.

On March 24, the Trustees announced: “In response to the emergency order issued Monday by Governor Charlie Baker, requiring all non-essential businesses and organizations to close, prohibiting gatherings of over 10 people and discouraging unnecessary travel or activities, the Trustees has made the difficult decision to temporarily close all outdoor properties, from Tuesday, March 24 through Sunday, April 7 at noon.”

On April 9, the Trustees reopened 76 properties: “These are sites that  do not require staffing and did not experience overcrowding prior to the closures,” the nonprofit said on its website.

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Sept. 15, 2018: Jim Dine's 1985 sculpture "Two Big Black Hearts." (Greg Cook)
DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Sept. 15, 2018: Jim Dine’s 1985 sculpture “Two Big Black Hearts.” (Greg Cook)

DeCordova, Fruitlands, Naumkeag and World’s End will be “opened in a manner that will limit overcrowding and keep both visitors and staff safe by staying aligned with the Governor’s Stay at Home order, which calls for social distancing and staying local.,” the Trustees said. For example, to avoid “overcrowding, we are limiting capacity to just 50 percent of our parking lots at these sites.”

Crane Beach “will be open to permit parking holders and Trustees members for two weeks (May 19-June 2) while they test out the operations required to safely open the beach to the general public.”

To visit the properties, you’ll have to reserve a parking pass online. “In keeping with the Governor’s most recent order, all visitors above the age of two are required to bring and wear a face covering,” the Trustees said.

“The rest of our 118 properties have remained closed to date due to concerns about overcrowding and inability to physically distance at these sites,” the nonprofit explained. “We recognize that these are some of our most beloved sites and have been working hard to figure out how to reopen these safely, in line with CDC guidance and the Governor’s directives. These are sites that are usually unstaffed and where a staff presence would now be required to prevent overcrowding, or where town officials have requested that they stay closed.”

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Categories: Art Nature