Forest Preserves Expand Reopening

Will County Forest Preserve Expands Reopening

As the state of Illinois moves into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on June 26th, the Will County Forest Preserve expands reopening of various amenities to the public.

The newly opened portions of the Forest Preserves will include:

Visitor Centers

Plastic partitions have been ordered for the front desks of each center, and are expected to be installed this week. Once in place, the centers will reopen, but there will be capacity limits. Also, visitors will be encouraged to wear masks and use social distancing while inside the buildings. Hand sanitizer will be available to visitors and staff. Restrooms and drinking fountains will be open and sanitized twice a day. High-touch items have been modified or removed from the buildings, including iPads, touch screens, exhibits and interactive play items.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms will only be cleaned twice a week. It is up to individuals to take precautions necessary to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19 by bringing their own disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, as latrines do not have running water or soap.

Water Fountains

The Forest Preserve will begin the process of reopening water fountains and hand pumps over the coming weeks. In the meantime, preserve visitors are encouraged to bring water from home if they are unsure of the status of a fountain or hand pump at the location they plan to visit.

Picnics and Camping Permits

Online picnic and camping permits will be available starting June 26 for groups of 50 or less, the limit for public gatherings set by the state. Reservations can once again be placed in person at visitor centers when they reopen.

Programs

Programs will be modified to allow for up to 10 participants indoors and 50 outdoors. Indoor spaces will be sanitized before and after each program. Zoom webinars will continue to be offered online. The Event Calendar will continue to include the full list of program offerings and registration details as information becomes available.

Amenities like dog parks, trails, and boating have all been reopened throughout Phase 3.

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