If you want to go outdoors and recreate there are a few things you should know before you leave your home and when you arrive at the park.
- Check what's open. There are lots of parks with limited hours, limited facilities and limited activities. Some of them are just flat out closed. Make sure to check ahead so you aren't met with a closed gate or no bathrooms.
- Stay close to home. With a pandemic going on, health leaders emphasize keeping your travel local to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- If you're sick or feel like you are getting sick, stay at home and save your adventure for another day.
- Practice physical distancing. Keep 6 feet between you and other groups at the park. This can be for any activity whether its hiking, fishing, swimming, or picnicing. If you plan to hike on a narrow trail, step off the trail to let others pass.
- Practice good hygiene. Keep your hands clean by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and have hand sanitizer ready. If there are high contact surfaces such as an arm rail at the park or a water fountain, avoid touching it.
- Leave no trace. Always pack out what you pack in. Do not leave your garbage in the park, especially when trash cans are full. Chico Parks and Natural Resource Manager, Linda Herman, says they've gone from emptying trash cans once a week to multiple times per week at Bidwell Park, due to an increase in visitors during the pandemic.
- Search and rescue crews, as well as other parks resources, are strained due to an increase in visitors.
"Regardless if its corona or not, the science behind what makes you healthy, you're going to be more unhealthy and get sick more often if you wear a mask all the time. but the measures that are taking place, I think its great. I think its good that people follow the guidelines," said a Chico resident
"Yes, I think keeping the place clean and responsibly picking up after yourself and throwing things away. I think that's really a wonderful thing because it will keep the area nice. But as far as the corona thing, I think that its overrated. For one thing, fresh air is better than a mask," said a Chico resident.
"Its horrible. I don't want to let them go in the water. I wouldn't come down here during any busy part of the day or season even. But he has to get outside. He's almost two and he's all boy," said a Chico resident.
"Getting out, that's really important. I've been stuck in the house for the longest time. Keep your distance and do the basic things. You know, and hope for the best. Because I don't think that this virus is going away any time soon," said a Chico resident.