Cook County Forest Preserve lot closures expanded, extended through Memorial Day
Move intended to prevent holiday crowds at Cook County forest preserves
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County on Monday announced Memorial Day weekend parking lot closures at two additional sites and extended parking lot closures at six others through the holiday to prevent crowding.
Lots at Dan Ryan Woods near Chicago and Schiller Woods near Schiller Park will be closed Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25, general superintendent Arnold Randall said.
"These are two forest preserve locations that we know are extremely busy over the summer and holiday weekends," Randall said. "With these parking lot closures we aim to ensure that on Memorial Day this year they will not become overcrowded or a place where people cannot or are not following the rules for physical distancing."
In addition, weekend parking lot closures already in effect will be extended through the Monday holiday at Busse Woods, Bunker Hill, Saganashkee Slough, Maple Lake, Catherine Chevalier Woods and LaBagh Woods. Lots at those locations have been closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Cook County forest preserve restrooms, nature centers, campgrounds, nature play areas and permit offices remain closed through May 31.
Randall reminded patrons that picnics, cookouts, group sports and gatherings with people outside your household remain prohibited. He asked people to celebrate Memorial Day weekend at home instead.
"I know that it has been months of living under the stay-at-home order and that summer feels like it is just around the corner," Randall said. "I know we all yearn to return to the days of big family get-togethers and meeting friends for an afternoon in the sun. But I urge everyone to find your way to do Memorial Day at home this upcoming weekend. We all have invested so much in lowering the number of COVID-19 cases. Let's not squander that investment now. Let's finish the job."
Forest preserve patrons who witness groups congregating or people not adhering to social distancing guidelines should call the district's nonemergency police number at (708) 771-1000.