Senator Chuck Weaver is asking Governor J.B. Pritzker, when it is prudent, to allow citizens to use the expansive outdoor trail systems offered by our state parks, especially now that the governor has announced his intention to keep non-essential businesses and schools closed for another month.
Senator Weaver says the Illinois Department of Natural Resources should be allowed to reopen those portions of Illinois state parks where adequate social distancing, and other safety measures, can be practiced. Weaver says he feels that a safe compromise could be met by closing, or cordoning off some pavilions and playgrounds, while leaving the trail systems open to bikers, hikers and equestrians. The request would be confined to those counties where local officials and site superintendents have indicated they believe it is safe to do so.
The 37th District Senator says constituents would welcome the opportunity to safely hike their state park, but it would be made clear to them that state and local authorities could, and would, enforce any violations of the strict safety precautions needed to help contain the COVID-19 virus.