Recreate Responsibly — How To Explore Kane County and Support Local Businesses During ‘Restore Illinois’

Recreate Responsibly — How To Explore Kane County and Support Local Businesses During ‘Restore Illinois’

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a five-part series on Kane County outdoor recreational opportunities you can enjoy right now during Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan. Today’s Part 1 is written by Karen Miller and Chris Toth, both planners for the Kane County Development And Community Services Department.

Fabyan Forest Preserve. (Photo by Karen Miller)

During the past several weeks, we have been advised to get outside regularly for fresh air and exercise while abiding by public health guidelines and logical restrictions to our beloved public open spaces. As these restrictions are gradually lifted, let’s celebrate being able to freely enjoy the outdoors!

The state of Illinois has now entered Phase 3 of Restore Illinois, A Public Health Approach to Safely Reopen Our State. That means as long as face coverings and social distancing are the norm, gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed — and retail can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in changes to our routines and limited our options as we navigate our day-to-day lives. According to the Emotional Well-Being During COVID-19 Pandemic brochure posted on the Kane County Health Department website, there are “normal physical, emotional, mental and behavioral reactions to the abnormal situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Being outside can have a variety of physical and mental benefits and help us cope with the “abnormal situation” of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Harvard Medical School presents the following potential benefits:

  • An increase in Vitamin D levels which can have protective health benefits;
  • A tendency to be more active;
  • An improvement in relaxation and mood; and
  • An increase in self-esteem and concentration

For almost 20 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been a national leader in promoting the positive public health benefits of accessibility to parks and trails. The foundation continues to be an important partner with the Kane County Health Department to improve the quality of life for Kane County residents including that of the physical environment.

While we should always focus on our mental and physical health, we can’t forget about the economic health of our local communities! Locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue and resources back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

Support local restaurants and grocery stores by picking up a healthy meal on your trip using carry-out, drive-through or curbside pickup services.

Who isn’t hungry after walking, biking or paddling?

A visit to a historical/cultural site can be a nice compliment to an outdoor activity. There are many businesses and historical/cultural opportunities within walking distance of public open spaces throughout Kane County.

The bottom line is, there’s never been a better time to explore Kane County.

So, go outside and give your senses a treat. Watch the seasons change; listen to the birds; smell the blooming flowers; touch the bark on the trees. Visit a forest preserve. Hike a trail. Smile and laugh as you enjoy the benefits of being outdoors!

Recreate Responsibly

Before you venture out, please follow the six guidelines offered by the Recreating Responsibly Coalition:

(CREDIT: Recreate Responsibly Coalition)

A Note From The Kane County Development and Community Services Department

The Kane County Development and Community Services Department is encouraging residents to get outside and also to support local businesses during all phases of the Restore Illinois Plan.

Visit the Why Kane website for links to Community Development Connections — economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, utilities and businesses committed to helping present and future citizens of Kane County grow and prosper.

Read The Recreate Responsibly Series

Fox River Trail. (Photo by Karen Miller)

Read More