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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Guidelines for Parks and Recreation Under Governor Pritzker's Modified Stay at Home Order

Although not final, we have reviewed a pre-filing draft of the Governor Pritzker’s anticipated Executive Order modifying the Stay at Home Order that will be effective from May 1 through May 31, 2020. For Illinois park districts and parks and recreation departments, here are relevant excerpts from the draft Order:

State and Other Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas

Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas, including specific State parks that remain open for certain activities, as designated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. IDNR’s guidance can be found here.

Fishing and Boating

Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people are permitted. 


Golf is permitted only when following the guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The link to the DCEO guidelines is here.

Places of Public Amusement

All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, playgrounds, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs must remain closed to the public.


Playgrounds must remain closed.

Pools, Beaches & Splash Pads

Concerning pools, beaches and splash pads, IDNR has ordered the closure of the State’s beaches and has prohibited swimming. IDPH and IDNR are meeting on April 30 to discuss other water amenities such as public pools and splash pads. We will provide an update once we know the outcome of that meeting.  

Essential Government Functions

Each government body is authorized to determine its essential governmental functions and identify employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions. Essential Government Functions means all services provided by the state or any municipal, township, county, subdivision or agency of government and needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety and welfare of the public, and including contractors performing essential government functions. 

Social Distancing and Face Coverings

In general, the limits on group activity and the 6 foot social distancing rule are continued but where the maintenance of the 6 foot rule is unlikely to be maintained by the nature of the activity, the Order requires the wearing of a cloth face covering. Those guidelines may have application to certain functions in the parks and interaction with the public generally.

Post Authored by Adam Simon and Derke Price, Ancel Glink


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