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Boost Your Spirits and Your Health with a Walk through Your Neighborhood or Local State Park

In these unique times, northern Wisconsin and UP Michigan, as well as communities all throughout the world, are taking measures to flatten the curve of the spread of the coronavirus in order to prevent overburdening our healthcare systems. As a result, while we have become all too aware of the importance of keeping healthy, some of the resources that keep us active are temporarily unavailable to us. However, some organizations and community members have stepped up to the plate with ways to keep us motivated to exercise (essential to physical and mental health, especially during trying times like these) and keep us smiling.

Outdoor Exercise Is Considered An Essential Activity

Wisconsin State Parks

Wisconsin’s Governor Evers’s Safer at Home order, which went into effect on March 25, recognizes that outdoor activity is an essential activity. Travel is not recommended at this time, and, in fact, several counties in our region have issued advisories urging seasonal residence to stay in their winter residences for the time being. But many of us are fortunate to live close to wonderful state parks. Given that that outdoor exercise is seen as essential, all Wisconsin State Parks, Trails, and Forests remain open, and all fees are now waived. Regulations for hunting, trapping, and fishing seasons are in effect. Restrooms at these sites remain open (provided there are enough resources, cleaning supplies, and staff to maintain them). However, property buildings (including headquarters, offices, visitor centers, towers, stairways, observation towers, and playgrounds) are closed. Campsites are closed through April 30, and no new camping reservations will be taken for dates prior to June 1. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources urges visitors not to congregate at self-registration stations or kiosks and reminds visitors to avoid social gatherings. For the latest updates, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=5069.

Even if you don’t live near a state park, health officials recommend going out for daily walks or jogs around your own neighborhood. A couple of community initiatives will brighten your spirits as you take a stroll.

A Neighborhood Bear Hunt

Inspired by Michael Rosen’s children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, teddy bears and other stuffed animals are appearing in windows in the region and around the world. On your next walk, see how many bears you can find!

Hopeful Hearts

Look for other messages of love and hope in your neighbors’ windows on your next walk. In addition to teddy bears, many individuals and neighborhoods have taken to displaying colorful hearts in windows. There are several Facebook groups dedicated to this cheerful act, including Happy Heart Hunt.

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