I hope you and your family are doing well and staying healthy. The past few weeks have been different than what we have ever experienced before. The COVID-19 virus has impacted the way our District is able to provide recreational services to our community. Our staff is working through the Restore Illinois Plan, issued by Governor Pritzker, to plan for programs and events this summer. At this time, I would like to update you on some of the things that we are working on and how this plan will affect our programming this summer. The following updates are subject to change daily.
Phil’s Beach – The opening of beaches is not part of Phase 3 Restore Illinois Plan. The District is currently awaiting guidelines and direction from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Season pass sales have been put on hold. The District is currently reviewing the challenges related to opening for a shortened season, in addition to social distancing protocols. Once IDPH provides direction and guidance, final decisions can be made and be communicated to our Community.
Camp Wauconda – We began registration for Camp Wauconda prior to the shutdown of non-essential services. With the current restrictions in place, we have decided to cancel our “traditional” camp program. All currently registered participants will be refunded their deposits and registrations fees beginning on Tuesday, May 26.
Staff is awaiting guidance from IDPH and Governor Pritzker’s Office on how childcare/day camp can occur this summer. We anticipate that we will have smaller group sizes, shortened hours, and will only be able to accommodate about one third of our normal camp participants. Staff is working through the current guidelines to design a program we hope can begin on June 15, 2020. Registration for this newly created childcare program will take place through a lottery system starting with residents who had previously registered for Camp Wauconda (in 2020) and then moving to Non-Residents who have previously registered (in 2020). Further details on this program and the registration process will be available mid-week the week of May 25.
Fitness First and Group Fitness – Currently all Fitness First memberships have been put on hold and are being extended for each day we are closed due to the current shelter in place orders. We feel that Fitness First will not be able to open until Phase 4 implementation of the Restore Illinois plan is approved.
Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan allows for outside group fitness and one-on-one personal training. Staff is currently investigating these options and will announce a schedule soon.
Summer and Virtual Programs – Many of our regularly scheduled programs have made the jump to a virtual format. We are encouraging you to visit our website at www.wauconda parks.com or our Facebook page to explore what options are available to your family. Many of your favorite summer activities, such as dance camps, magic, guitar and ukulele lessons, and much more are being offered in a virtual format. We hope that we can offer more in-person programming beginning in July or the implementation of Phase 4.
WaucondaFest – Earlier this month, our Park Board of Commissioners and Wauconda Fest planning meeting collectively made the decision to cancel this year’s Wauconda Fest. This was not an easy decision to make but was made in the best interest of public safety. We hope to see you in 2021!
Triathlons – Our Annual triathlons scheduled for July 18 and 19 have been cancelled due to the virus as well. Registrants were given the option for a refund or defer their registration to the 2021 event.
Parks and Paths – Parks and paths remain open. We ask that users adhere to the Governor’s Executive Order and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines when visiting these spaces. This includes practicing social distancing and not gathering in groups. Ignoring guidelines could result in increased restrictions.
Playgrounds and canoe/kayak launch remain closed.
Athletic Fields – At this time, all Wauconda Park District athletic Fields remain closed by the Governor’s Executive Order.
Basketball and Tennis Courts – These areas will be able to reopen in June 1with social distancing practices. Tennis court users must play singles, no doubles play permitted. Basketball courts should be for shooting only, no games.
Bangs Lake – Bangs Lake remains closed due to the high amount of rainfall we have received over the past week. Please visit the Village of Wauconda at www.wauconda-il.org for updates on the lake status.
Contacting the Park District – While many of our office/recreational staff are currently working remotely. We do have staff monitoring our voicemail, Contact Us messages through our website, and Facebook Messenger. Please feel free to send us an email or leave a voicemail message at (847) 526-3610. A staff member will return your call/message.
Please know that we continue to monitor the situation daily. Our staff is working hard to be able bring our community summer recreational opportunities that everyone can enjoy. We appreciate your understanding and support as we all navigate through COVID-19 together. We look forward to the day when we can welcome you back into our programs and events.
Take Care and Stay Safe!
Nancy M. Burton