More Outdoor Activities Available in Parks and Preserves

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When Governor J.B. Pritzker announced some looser restrictions on leaving the house during the stay-at-home order, local forest preserves and park districts began making decisions about if and how they’re going open up more outdoor activities.

Golf Now an Option

The Naperville Park District is reopening golf courses on May 1, with some conditions.

“The current restrictions will only allow twosomes on the golf course and we are required to have them spaced out at 15 minute intervals,” said Naperville Park District Superintendent of Golf Operations Kevin Carlson.

The park district is also requiring pins to be left in the hole and foam inserts will be put in the holes so golfers don’t have to reach in. Golfers also need to book tee times in advance – no walkups are allowed.

Tennis and Pickleball

If golf isn’t your thing, tennis and pickleball are other options, as the park district’s outdoor courts are also reopening.

“With those courts we will have some additional rules that players need to follow,” said Brad Wilson, director of recreation. “Practicing social distancing at all times, maintaining that six foot separation. If there are any doubles match plays that take place, players are required to wear face masks to play.”

Forest Preserve District of Will County

Though their preserves never officially closed, the Forest Preserve District of Will County is reopening their parking lots and other outdoor activities.

“Given the governor’s restrictions, our boat launches will be open, however boats will limited to two persons or a family unit up to four. So if you have a family unit, a mom and a dad or a dad and a few kids, want to go out and they’ve been sheltering together, then it’s fine to have more than to and up to four,” said Forest Preserve District of Will County Chief Operating Officer Ralph Schultz.

Will County oversees Whalon Lake in Naperville and three other boat launches in the county.

They’re also opening up their online photo contest, which they hope will encourage people to safely explore their many natural areas.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has allowed boating throughout the stay-at-home order, and isn’t changing many policies at this point.

They said they’d reassess their policies when more recommendations come from other organizations.

“First and foremost would be cancelation of the stay-at-home order or the loosening of those guidelines from the governor,” said Director of Community Relations Tony Martinez. “And then just aligning with what the CDC recommends and what the governor recommends.”

Whatever your recreation of choice is, now’s the time to swing back into outdoor fun.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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