Forest Preserve announces 'Hugs for Hounds' cancellation, 'Found Objects Sculpture Trail' postponement
Last updated 4/2/2020 at 10:15am
The 12th annual "Hugs for Hounds" doggie Easter egg hunt has been canceled, and the "Found Objects Sculpture Trail" has been postponed due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Shorewood HUGS, in partnership with the Forest Preserve District of Will County, had scheduled the 2020 "Hugs for Hounds" for April 11 at the Hammel Woods Dog Park in Shorewood. According to a Facebook post by Shorewood HUGS:
"It is with heavy hearts that Shorewood HUGS has decided to take a 'pause' while we all deal with the repercussions of the coronavirus. This decision was difficult to come to but at the end of the day, we felt that this is the responsible thing to do to ensure the safety of our members as well as the safety of those in the community that we serve."
Shorewood HUGS is a local nonprofit organization that assists with worthy fundraising efforts. Proceeds from the event's registration fees have raised thousands of dollars for the care, handling and training of the Forest Preserve's police K-9s. For more information, visit Shorewood HUGS, http://www.shorewoodhugs.org.
Also due to the new coronavirus, the Forest Preserve is delaying the opening of the "Found Objects Sculpture Trail," which had been set to debut on April 8 along Snapper Pond Trail at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Crete Township. The Forest Preserve District plans to install the sculpture trail at a later time once state and federal authorities believe it is safe for members of the public to resume non-essential travel. Updates will be posted online at ReconnectWithNature.org. Once the sculpture trails opens, possibly later this spring, seven sculptures created out of discarded items by artist Jennifer Meyer will be displayed.
Currently, all forest preserve parking lots, visitor centers, latrines and dog parks are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Trails are open to those who can walk or bike in, and shoreline fishing is allowed where permitted, but boating is not at this time due to the parking lot closures. The closure, cancellation and postponement actions have been taken to encourage everyone to stay as close to home as possible and practice recommended social distancing during Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order, which went into effect March 21.
"At this time, we ask that you explore nature close to home and limit your non-essential travel to protect yourself, your family, your friends and those who you may not know but may come into contact with in your forest preserves or on your regional trails," said Ralph Schultz, the Forest Preserve District's chief operating officer.