ST. PAUL – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is preparing to reopen camping at its parks in eastern North Dakota, Minnesota and western Wisconsin, June 1.

Campgrounds were closed to start the season due to COVID-19 concerns and a need to protect employees and the public. While the campgrounds are reopening, visitors are encouraged to contact Corps staff at the park you are visiting to ensure other recreation areas such as beaches, boat ramps and playground areas are open. The status of these facilities is also available at: https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/visitors/status.cfm.

Individuals with paid camping reservations at closed campgrounds will be contacted by email about cancellations and full refunds will automatically be processed through the recreation.gov website with no cancellation fees. Individuals should not contact the website to request a refund as that will lead to a cancellation fee being charged. All reservations must be made via www.recreation.gov. Self-pay vaults are closed so cash and checks will not be accepted for camping.

Corps officials have suspended the collection of day use fees for its swimming beaches and boat ramps until Oct. 1. The Corps is also extending the expiration date of USACE and America the Beautiful annual passes for seven months for those who previously purchased annual passes for the year.

While visiting Corps recreation areas, visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and other COVID-19 safety precautions required and recommended by local, state and federal authorities, to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC guidance on visiting parks and recreation facilities can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html.

In addition to COVID-19 safety precautions, Corps staff remind everyone to be smart while you are on the water and to always wear your life jacket.