The Farm at Walnut Creek reopens with changes
SUGARCREEK, Ohio — An out-of-the-area attraction that many Mid-Ohio Valley residents travel to has recently reopened, according to officials, with new practices to stay safe during the COVID-19 concerns.
The Farm at Walnut Creek, a drive-thru petting zoo that attracts visitors from the area and beyond, has reopened with extra social distancing and sanitizing practices during the crisis.
The Farm is following social distancing guidelines set forth by the CDC, according to their release. It states all employees are sanitizing between each person encounter, feed buckets are being sanitized between each use, restrooms are being sprayed with disinfectant and they encourage employees and visitors to stay home if part of a high-risk group or feeling unwell.
While under usual circumstances, visitors can choose to drive their own cars through the park or ride a haywagon, the only available option at this time is to drive their own cars. Officials said most of the animals will roam free and can come over to the car to be fed with feed buckets available for purchase at the ticket stand. Also at this time, the drive thru is extended to animals that were normally in the walk-through area of the park, so visitors can still see them.
For extra safety precautions, the only spot visitors can get out of their cars is at the restrooms at the ticket booth, to be used one at a time. The only personal contact will be the employee at the ticket booth.
“The changes are going great,” said Henry Hampton, owner. “We’ve had quite a few people already and are ready to welcome more.”
Opened in 2006, The Farm at Walnut Creek is built like many Amish farms in the community. “People can come here and get a feel for what it is like for those who live off of the land. There are a lot of similarities on The Farm to farms down the road.”
In addition to the regular farm animals, it is host to more than 500 animals, including buffalo, zebras and giraffes.
The Farm is also in contact with the USDA discussing COVID-19 and is following the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, which works with infectious diseases. According to the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine, “There have been no documented cases of COVID-19 in horses or livestock species, and there is no evidence to date that humans represent a risk of spreading or contracting the virus through farm animals.”
As for when the area and The Farm can return to “normal” practices, officials said they will continue to consult with their local health department. “We are hopeful we will be able to do the wagon rides again,” Hampton said.
Visitors to The Farm are welcome to drive through as many times as they want the day of their ticket purchase, including leaving and coming back during the same day.
The Farm at Walnut Creek does not accept credit or debit cards, so visitors must bring cash. No pets are allowed. People are allowed to sit in the back of their pickup trucks as long as the tailgate remains up.
Hours for The Farm are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the last car allowed in by 6. Costs are $11.75 per adult, with kids 3-12 are $8.75 and seniors are also $8.75.
Find out directions and more about The Farm at thefarmatwalnutcreek.com or on their Facebook page.
Contact Amy Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org.