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Hammock at Regner Park in West Bend

Coping with COVID photo essay: All over the map!

6:49 pm  |  Topics: Spotlight, Stories


By Eddee Daniel

As the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues, and as the weather improves, the outpouring of people into area parks—already unprecedented for this time of year—is increasing further! Yesterday, the season’s first unseasonably warm day enabled everyone to leave their coats and jackets behind. Sun worshipers in T-shirts and shorts joined the throngs of people (at discreet distances for the most part) who have been out walking, running and cycling for weeks in mostly far more inclement conditions. Kayakers too have hit the waterways.

Addendum: I wrote the above yesterday, before Governor Evers announced the closing of many state parks. Very sad. The people of Wisconsin blew this one! Everyone clearly understood the opportunity but not enough recognized the responsibility. We’re all in this together.

Birchwood Hills Nature Preserve, Port Washington
Birchwood Hills Nature Preserve, Port Washington

It is still possible, however, to find a place that’s not crowded. As we at Preserve Our Parks love to proclaim, Southeastern Wisconsin has a wealth of nature. Even yesterday, when the conditions were so spectacularly ideal, at three of the nine parks and preserves I managed to visit I saw no one else. I ended up taking the selfie above at one of them (something I rarely do) just to prove I was there.

Use our “Find-a-Park” map to find an out of the way place next time you go for a walk. With state parks closed, along with some nature centers, it’s more important than ever to find a less crowded place to go–and to observe the pandemic guidelines for safe use of the parks.

I invite you to enjoy this Photo Essay, from all over the map!

A veteran white water kayaker braves the standing waves on the Milwaukee River below the North Avenue Bridge.
Veteran white water kayaker braves the standing waves on the Milwaukee River below the North Avenue Bridge, Milwaukee.
Telephoto lens makes the Eisenbahn State Trail in West Bend look even more crowded than it already is.
Telephoto lens makes the Eisenbahn State Trail in West Bend look even more crowded than it already is.
Fishing with a net for minnows to use as bait at Homestead Hollow County Park in Germantown.
Fishing with a net for minnows to use as bait at Homestead Hollow County Park, Germantown.
Family exploring a stick fort at Petrifying Springs Park in Kenosha.
Family exploring an elaborate stick fort at Petrifying Springs Park, Kenosha.
A boy in a wheelchair out enjoying the sunshine with his caretaker at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa.
A unicorn out enjoying the sunshine with their caretaker at Hoyt Park, Wauwatosa.
Alicia shows me the garter snake she found at Sauk Creek Preserve in Port Washington.
Alicia shows me the garter snake she found at Sauk Creek Preserve, Port Washington.
Walkers keeping their social distance at Lime Kiln Park in Menomonee Falls.
Walkers keeping their social distance at Lime Kiln Park, Menomonee Falls.
A motorcycle patrols the multi-use path in the Pike River Greenway, Mount Pleasant.
A motorcycle patrols the multi-use path in the Pike River Greenway, Mount Pleasant.
A family outing at Lac Lawrann Conservancy, West Bend.
A family outing at Lac Lawrann Conservancy, West Bend.
It's easy to maintain social distancing at the Mukwonago Unit - Kettle Moraine State Forest.
It’s easy to maintain social distancing at the Mukwonago Unit – Kettle Moraine State Forest.
A hiker wears a precautionary mask at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, Ozaukee County.
A hiker wears a precautionary mask at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, Ozaukee County.
Frolicking at social distances at Hubbard Park, Shorewood.
Frolicking at social distances at Hubbard Park, Shorewood.
Social distance kayaking? Riverside Park, West Bend
Social distance kayaking? Milwaukee River at Riverside Park, West Bend
Abbie, Ellie and Kirsten hammocking with a view of Lake Michigan at Virmond Park, Mequon.
A couple of birders spot something at Trout Ponds Prairie Preserve, Caledonia.
A couple of birders spot something at Trout Ponds / Prairie Preserve, Caledonia.
A family making music together at Tendick Nature Park, Saukville.
A family making music together at Tendick Nature Park, Saukville.
Three girls painting designs on old records in the Milwaukee River Greenway, Shorewood.
Three girls painting designs on old records in the Milwaukee River Greenway, Shorewood.
Watching the river run at Lime Kiln Park, Grafton.
Watching the river run at Lime Kiln Park, Grafton.

This is the fourth installment in our “Coping with COVID19” series. Here are the previous ones:

Schools are closed, events cancelled, but parks are open!

Coping with COVID-19: People seek out nature!

Coping with COVID-19: People enjoying our parks!

Remember, our “Find-a-Park” map is here to help you— yes! —find a park. Remember to observe safe personal hygiene and social distancing guidelines when you head out for fresh air, exercise and a healthy dose of nature.

To see the complete set of chronological images taken during the COVID-19 shutdown, go to Eddee’s Flickr album.

Note: The featured image at the top is from Regner Park in West Bend. Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks and A Wealth of Nature Project Director. All images in today’s photo essay were shot in the past week.