Webster County Conservation Facilities Update in Response to COVID-19

 May 20, 2020

The Webster County Conservation Board and Staff continue to monitor the current disaster declaration because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety and health of our park visitors is our top priority. The Conservation Department has modified the following services in response to the current public health emergency.

In an effort to comply with national, state and local recommendations for “social distancing”, the board has approved a phased-opening process for Webster County campgrounds and facilities.

Campgrounds at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park and Gypsum City OHV Park are currently open for self-contained campers with their own restrooms and showers.

Effective May 28th, the Department’s Facilities will be moved to the next level in the phased-opening plan, including:

  • All camping units allowed.
  • Campground restrooms and showers open with elevated sanitation schedule.
  • Restrictions to total number of people at a campsite will follow State guidelines for gatherings and social distancing and will be enforced by the Park Ranger.
  • WCCB Office opens with limitations. Only one person is allowed in the office at any given time. No groups allowed.

Effective June 5th:

  • Overnight facility rentals open with elevated sanitation schedule.
  • Watercraft rentals resume with limitations. Only one person is allowed for pick-up and drop-off.
  • Firewood sales resume.

Restrictions that remain in-place per the Governor’s proclamation:

  • Day-use facility rentals (shelters & lodge) are closed based on State guidelines for gatherings and social distancing and will be enforced by the Park Ranger.
  • Playgrounds remain closed.

Shelter and lodge reservations scheduled in March – June will have the option to re-schedule their event or receive a refund. July rentals are scheduled to occur as planned; however if new restrictions are imposed reservations may need to be modified.

All Department events and programs scheduled through June have been postponed or cancelled. Additional information about summer camps and programs will be posted on the county website and the Department’s Facebook page.

County parks, lakes, trails and wildlife management areas remain open for general use. The Webster County Conservation Board’s mission has always been, and continues to be, encouraging people’s wise use of the outdoors. The recent events have caused an increase in park visits and trail use. We strongly encourage people to get outside for the benefit of their physical, mental and emotional health; however we ask our visitors to follow the CDC recommendations for “social distancing” this includes avoiding group activities and areas that concentrate people, maintain a six-foot distance from others, frequently washing your hands, and if you feel sick stay home. Playgrounds and play equipment should be avoided during this current public health emergency.

We will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC, government leaders and our local public health officials as we respond to this constantly changing situation. If you have questions or need to modify an upcoming reservation please contact us at conservation@webstercountyia.org