The Forest Preserve District of Will County announced it will reopen more of its amenities as the state advances to Phase 4 of Gov. JB Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The forest preserve’s visitor centers, latrines and water fountains reopen Friday, when the state is expected to reach Phase 4, according to a news release.
Permits for groups of 50 or fewer also can be booked, program capacity will expand and rentals at the Monee Reservoir will begin.
The forest preserve’s six visitor centers have been closed since mid-March, when the state’s stay-at-home order went into effect. The buildings will reopen once partitions are in place at each building’s front desk.
The partitions have been ordered, and they are expected to be installed this week, the district said. If there are delays in installing the partitions, building openings will be postponed.
The Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet is scheduled to open June 29. The Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville and Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township are set to open June 30, according to the release.
There will be capacity limits inside buildings. Visitors are also encouraged to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.
The district’s latrines will reopen starting Friday on a rolling basis as crew members make the rounds that morning. Latrines will be cleaned only twice a week.
The district also will begin the process of reopening water fountains and hand pumps over the coming weeks. In the meantime, visitors are encouraged to bring their own water.
Permits for picnic and camping will be available starting Friday for groups of 50 people or fewer, which is the limit for gatherings under Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Programs will also be modified for 10 participants or fewer indoors and 50 or fewer outdoors.
For information on the district’s reopening, go to reconnectwithnature.org.