The Fort Smith National Historic Site will begin adding programs for the public on June 1. Weather permitting, park rangers will conduct roving interpretation on the grounds and trails and will conduct scheduled outdoor interpretive/educational daily programs at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. while applying social distancing guidelines.
Events will meet outside the Visitor Center entrance, a news release said.
“(We) will continue to operate under the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, the historic site grounds will remain open,” the release said.
The Visitor Center and Frisco Station will remain closed, but park officials say they phased back into operation when feasible. Portable restroom facilities will be available in the main parking area, the release said.
“This is a challenging situation for all of us, and we want to do our part to prevent the spread of infectious disease,” said Lisa Conard Frost, park superintendent, noting that the health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers and partners is the staff’s main priority. “We will continue to monitor and modify our programs to protect the health and safety of our staff and visitors.”
Visitors to the historic site are asked to wear masks, adhere to social distancing guidelines, wash hands often with soap and water and stay home if they feel sick.