INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL PARK: The National Park Service at Indiana Dunes National Park has begun a social media campaign to help keep visitors safe from COVID-19. In recognition of the increase of COVID-19 in the community and nationwide, this campaign reminds the public that they can catch the virus outdoors on a crowded beach if they are not wearing a mask or properly socially distancing. The effort, called, “Think Before you Beach – Crowds spread COVID….Even Outside” starts Saturday, July 18 and features social media posts and video along with signs located throughout the 15,000 acre park.
In order to keep the beaches, trails and restrooms safely open, visitors need to practice responsible recreation. To do that, the park has developed tips based on the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and state public health officials.
Wear a mask when you cannot stay six feet from other visitors. Whenever you go to the restroom or are in common space areas like the concession stand, you will need to wear a mask. On the beach, spread out. Keep your beach towel six feet or more away from others. The park has 15 miles of beach, just walk east or west a couple of minutes from the beach access point to get a secluded beach experience just about any time or anywhere in the park. Before you arrive, consider the best time to visit. Late afternoons and early mornings are less crowded. Weekdays are less crowded than weekends. If the beach area has a line of cars or is already full, go take a hike on a well-shaded trail like the ones near Chellberg Farm or have a picnic in the shade of a shelter. Go back to the beach later in the day when it is less crowded.
Outdoor recreation is important for maintaining good physical and mental health, but it is critical that visitors do their part to help control the spread of COVID-19 so the national park can remain safe and open.
Indiana Dunes National Park is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 420 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.