By Vitza Cabrera and Mirna Borrego
Today more than ever we need nature. Enjoying activities or spending time outdoors contributes to our physical and emotional health.
Here’s a list of best practices:
- Enjoy nearby places, travel locally
- Find out where you want to go
- Prepare your visit
- Keep a safe distance
- Keep your hands clean
- Be careful, be cautious
- Be considerate of others
- Leave everything the way you found it
Enjoy nearby places, travel locally
Traveling long distances can help spread COVID-19. Most trips require to make multiple stops along the way and be in contact with other people or contaminated surfaces, which can contribute to putting vulnerable communities at risk.
Before traveling, it’s important to check the epidemiological status of your state and country.
Find out where you want to go
Is this open? Are they receiving visitors? Are there any bathrooms? Do they have safety and hygiene protocols? Do I need to bring my own alcohol to disinfect my hands? What should I take with me to protect myself and the people I meet?
Prepare your visit
- Don’t forget your mask.
- Bring a hand sanitizer with you, in case you can’t use soap and water.
- Cover your face while sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid going to crowded places where it’s impossible to keep a safe distance.
- Reduce your stopovers and avoid contact with people outside your group.
- Take enough food and water with you for your trip.
Keep a safe distance
- Always remember to keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people. If it’s not possible wear a mask.
- Respect the space of others, allow everyone to feel safe and enjoy the natural areas in a safe and healthy way.
Keep your hands clean
Wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitizing solution if you’ve been in contact with any surface.
Be careful, be cautious
Don’t carry out activities that put your life at risk, know your limits and abilities. At this time the medical services are saturated, and they may not be able to assist you if you have an accident.
Be considerate of others
We all want to go out to distract ourselves and enjoy nature, and wearing masks and keeping a safe distance is a way to show respect for others. Also remember to respect the security measures.
Leave everything the way you found it
Everything you carry with you must return. It’s important to avoid using single-use plastics, especially now with sanitary measures. If you wear disposable masks or gloves, they must be disposed properly so that they don’t end up on the streets, in the sea or in the same place you visited.
No matter how you like to get outside, we are all united by the love we share for our parks, trails, and waterways. The need to recreate responsibly will continue even after the pandemic is behind us.
We have a shared responsibility to care for one another and these places to ensure they remain for future generations to enjoy.
As state and local guidelines evolve, we can all be a part of making the outdoors a safe place to be. Following the recreate responsibly guidelines will keep everyone safe as we enjoy our parks, waters, trails, and forests.
Learn more at https://www.recreateresponsibly.org/