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Michigan’s outdoors are here for you

Taking some time to cross-country ski is a good way to get fresh air and exercise for both you and your pet.

Enjoy getting outside, but be ‘COVID-19 smart, safe and solo’
LANSING — The Michigan DNR knows there’s been a steady stream of “closure” information and messaging about self-isolating to slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s true, the DNR is in uncharted territory, and such steps are critical in protecting Michigan residents from coronavirus risk. Safeguarding mental health is just as important, and spending time outdoors – whether in your backyard, on your balcony or in big, open spaces – can boost mind, body and spirit.
  Although the public contact areas (restroom buildings, shooting ranges, visitor centers) at many DNR-managed facilities are temporarily closed, people are still welcome to enjoy the public outdoor areas at state parks and recreation areas, state game and wildlife areas, state forests, state trails and, of course, our lakes, rivers and streams.
   For the duration of the COVID-19 situation, the DNR is waiving the need for the Recreation Passport for entry at state parks and other destinations.
Whether you want to hike or bike a new trail, scout your next hunt, paddle the open water or find a favorite fishing spot … Michigan’s outdoors are here. Explore things to do on the DNR’s website for inspiration; check out the YouTube channel for how-to videos; and get hunting and fishing licenses at its new license system website.
Closer to home, you could choose to soak up some sun on the back deck, walk around the block or jog the nearest local trail.
     No matter how you enjoy the outdoors, we urge you to practice effective social distancing” and other measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and keep you, your family and your community safe:
• Go out only if you’re feeling healthy.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting, including the outdoors.
• Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If those aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Minimize UV sun exposure by properly applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher.
• When driving, keep windows slightly open to provide air flow.
The DNR thanks its communities for doing their part to protect the health and safety of Michigan residents.