During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become so important for many, and we anticipate this trend will continue. People are drawn to the outdoors for fresh air, stress relief, and the freedom it provides. As our public lands and waters reopen, our special places could get overwhelmed and people could be at risk.
To help ensure people thrive outside and stay safe, the Recreate Responsibly coalition of 700+ nonprofits, outdoor businesses, and land managers came together to develop and share best practices to protect each other and our natural landscapes.
The Recreate Responsibly guidelines are meant to be a starting point for getting outside safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. It isn’t just about bringing a face covering and making room on the trail. It’s also about being inclusive and welcoming to everyone who gets outside, no matter how they identify or how they like to experience the outdoors.
Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a backup plan.
Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.
Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.
Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trails and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.
Respect public lands and waters, as well as Native and local communities. Take all your garbage with you.
Share your commitment to #RecreateResponsibly by using the hashtag on social media.
Or use the following toolkit for Michigan to share the guidelines on your social media channels.
Michigan outdoor leaders from Chaco Footwear and Gazelle Sports, along with the new Michigan Outdoor Industry Office and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, as we hear how the industry is working to successfully and safely “onboard” this new generation of outdoor enthusiasts — and more importantly, how we can keep them engaged for the long term.
Speakers offer industry-specific insights, #RecreateResponsibly suggestions about exploring Michigan’s local trails and parks, and share ways that the new landscape of virtual events like Gazelle’s “Great Lakes and Go!” 5K, and the DNR’s upcoming Michigan Trails Week events can help engage and sustain a welcoming and inclusive outdoor movement in Michigan.