Preserve Update: COVID-19 Edition

Sharon Hills Preserve trail

Sharon Hills Preserve

A lot has changed in the last few weeks, for all of us. Alongside our Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order there have been innumerable communications from the folks who manage public land, Legacy included, reminding everyone that the natural world is “open for business”. In tandem with that message, we’d like to also let you know what we’re doing, and NOT doing, to help keep our staff and the public safe on Legacy preserves.

♦Legacy’s preserves are open for public use. We are putting our trust in our preserve visitors to be SMART and SAFE during any visit. Please allow at least 6 feet between individuals and groups from different households.

♦Some limited management of Legacy’s preserves is an essential part of ensuring the safety of visitors to the preserves, and the protection of the preserves themselves amid potentially high-traffic periods.  Legacy staff will continue to make solo visits to our public preserves to make sure that our trails are open and safe, and to monitor for negative impacts from increased use, like vandalism or erosion along trails.

♦Legacy staff will temporarily modify some of the ways in which we steward these properties, like discontinuing the use of power tools (chainsaws, brush blades, etc) so as not to risk unnecessary burdens to an already taxed healthcare system.

♦During this unprecedented time, Legacy will be keeping an eye on our preserves as best we can. However, we welcome and encourage more communications from visitors to our preserves. Let us know of any issues you encounter (good or bad) during your visit. To report an issue or send a message (ex. heavy hiker traffic, vandalism, wildlife or special plant sightings, etc), please email or call Allene Smith, our Land Stewardship Coordinator, at (734)780-6402. If reporting an issue like a tree down over a trail or vandalism, please, if possible, accompany that message with a photo. If a tree over a trail is large enough to require a chainsaw, it’ll have to stay put for now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all – including Legacy and its staff – to make major adjustments to our daily lives. While we are grateful that the first exception to the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order allows people to engage in outdoor activity to experience fresh air and the restorative qualities of nature, we must continue to make health and safety our main priority. Please remember to use caution and care in any way you choose to get outside in the coming months. Legacy is deeply honored to be a resource and provide people with access to the natural world during these trying times. Thank you for your support, keep in touch, and stay safe.

How to Get Outside (during a pandemic) via Outdoor Alliance

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