BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Twenty-six Baltimore City recreation centers reopened Monday in a limited capacity.

Participants must register in advance and slots are limited due to COVID-19 guidelines.

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“Weird. Very weird. I have not been here in almost a year,” high school student Aric Hartley said Monday while walking onto the court at CC Jackson Community Center in Park Heights. “You know people have been out of shape and get want to come hoop and they know the rec is closed because of COVID. I know a lot of people who are going to want to come to the gym now.”

Hartley’s high school basketball season was cancelled his junior season. He was among the first in the city to sign up for open gym Monday.

In addition to the 26 rec centers reopening Monday, Middle Branch Aquatics Center, Upton Boxing, and William J. Myers Pavilion reopened, as well.

Staff screens participants when they enter rec centers and masks are required.

“Our rec centers have been serving as sites that have been giving out food throughout the pandemic,” Mayor Scott said after touring Edgewood Lyndhurst Recreation Center They know how to safely operate and interact with our community. Now, they’re able to do it in a much deeper way.”

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To sign up for programs and rec center time, click here:

Here’s what you need to know before you go:

  • Rec-goers must register online for a time slot before visiting.
  • Spaces are limited and are available based on current COVID guidelines.
  • Pre-registration began on April 2.
  • Onsite registration is subject to availability to fill any last-minute cancellations.
    – Pre-registration for Therapeutic Recreation programs open April 2.
    – New centers: Cahill Fitness and Wellness and Bocek Recreation Center will open on April 10 and 24, respectively.
  • Recreation Facilities:
    – Pre-registration for Carrie Murray Nature Centers’ Spring programs open April 2.
    – Middle Branch Aquatics Center, Upton Boxing and William J. Myers Pavilion reopen April 5. Pre-registration for facility usage and programs is required.
  • Athletics:
    – Adult Softball, Youth Track &Field and Youth Rugby begin April 5
    – Youth Basketball (BNBL), Youth Baseball Program begin April 12
  • Parks:
    – Green Spaces are always open and accessible
    – TreeKeepers and Weed Warriors programs return virtually in April
  • Permits:
    – Youth and Adult Athletic permits are now open

“Anyone who grew up in Baltimore knows how important recreational centers are to our communities. I am excited that Baltimore City residents will soon be able to return to recreation spaces for in-person activities,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “I am especially excited about the opening of the new Cahill Fitness and Wellness Center, a state of the art facility that will offer safe, modern recreation opportunities to Baltimore residents.”

All programming and activities will require pre-registration on the BCRP website. Some walk-up registration will be available if there’s space.

“I am so proud of the BCRP staff for diligently coming together to address the needs of our residents who rely on our spaces and services,” said Reginald Moore, BCRP executive director. “We have thoughtfully considered the health and safety of our users, staff, visitors and communities as we evaluated what amenities were safest to reopen now and in the future. We strongly encourage our rec-goers to pre-register for our programs, wear masks or face coverings while participating and adhere to our protocols so that everyone can safely enjoy our spaces.

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The new Cahill Fitness and Wellness Center, located in Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, will open on April 10.

Paul Gessler