On Saturday, Governor Pritzker ordered all of us to "stay at home" unless you operate, work for, or need goods or services from an essential business (i.e. food providers, gas stations, medical offices). The order does allow for going outside, thank goodness, as long as you keep up the social distancing. 

Let's face it, there are a lot of locales in this country that are much more picturesque to be quarantined in. However, we are very fortunate to have the six natural areas that make up the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. And we are extremely fortunate that these spaces will still be available to us during this wild time we are living in. 

From the CCFPD: 

The Champaign County forest preserves will remain open for hiking, dog walking, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities. Forest preserves offer important opportunities for our county residents to be active, exercise, and connect with nature. Indeed, the Governor’s executive order listed outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, as comparable to such daily living essentials as shopping for groceries or going to a pharmacy.

 A few things to note:

  • They will operate on very limited staff to keep everyone safe, so buildings and restrooms will not be open through at least April 7th, and public programs and events are cancelled through at least April 12th. 
  • Playgrounds are closed. Make nature your playground.
  • They are encouraging people to bring hand sanitizer, if you have it. 

The weather is supposed to be a bit more mild this week, so it's a great time to start utilizing these spaces. 

Photo from Champaign County Forest Preserve District Facebook page.