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CHAMPAIGN – As the state is on track to move to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan May 29, all state parks will be able to reopen, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday.

At a May 20 press briefing, the governor reported all state parks that have not already reopened will be allowed to do so when the state moves to the next phase, and all concession stands at those parks will be permitted to reopen, with safety measures in place.

“This decision is the latest sign that Illinois is progressing forward,” Bennett said. “I understand that this has been a challenging time for residents that enjoy our state parks on a regular basis. As warmer weather approaches, I’m happy more people will be able to have opportunities for recreation and exercise.”

Bennett is also stressing the importance for visitors to follow the safety and social distancing guidelines recommended by public health experts.

Health and safety guidelines from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources include:

  • Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others;
  • Stay home if you are sick or feeling any symptoms, such as fever, coughing, troubled breathing, and/or other flu-like symptoms;
  • Visit alone or with members of your household;
  • Stay local; visit parks that are closest to where you live;
  • If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, please move to another area or return another time/day to visit; and
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper arm/elbow.

“For our physical and mental health, it is crucial that our communities have access to parks and outdoor spaces,” Bennett said. “We’re making strides in the right direction and I will continue to keep up that momentum as we approach Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.”

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