HEParks to make fishing more accessible thanks to donation
It was a perfect day for fishing when HEParks Athletics Manager Kyle Goddard received an email from Cabela's, Hoffman Estates, stating that the outdoor outfitter had chosen Hoffman Estates Park District (HEParks) to receive a donation of around 100 rods and 75 reels.
Every year Cabela's collects gently used fishing equipment during their Spring Fishing Classic and donates them to local organizations to encourage people to be outdoors. This is the first year HEParks has received this donation.
"This donation is huge not only for HEParks but also for community members interested in learning to fish," said Goddard, who teaches in-person and social media based fishing programs. "Fishing can be an expensive sport to begin. This donation allows fishing to be accessible to the entire community as program participants no longer need to purchase equipment."
Interest in HEParks fishing programs has increased over the past few months as residents look for safe family activities.
"People are desperate to get outside. Fishing is one of the few sports where you can maintain complete social distancing. It is a perfect Phase 4 activity," said Goddard.
With this donation, the district is planning on increasing the fishing options offered to the community. Programs include free learn to fish events, introduction to fishing and advanced fishing techniques classes, and fishing derbies using the donated equipment. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, the district will look into developing an equipment rental system so that community members can enjoy the donation. The first program to use the donated equipment will be the all-ages, Learn-to-Fish program beginning Aug. 11.
HEParks maintains 15 stocked fishing ponds across Hoffman Estates. These ponds contain a variety of fish, including Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Channel-Catfish, and Northern Pike. It is free to fish in the district with a fishing license.
For information on fishing, visit heparks.org/fishing.