Dear Outdoor Recreation Community,
On behalf of our board of directors and fellow staff, we would like to extend our sympathies to you, your co-workers and families for the disruption and uncertainty in our lives. Our condolences to those who have lost loved ones as a result. Our offices have shut down and we are working remotely to do our part in distancing. We are all experiencing an unprecedented crisis and trying to make sense of it all, as parents, and as professionals.
Recreation Northwest is a mission-driven organization. Our mission is to promote outdoor recreation and bring people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. As we face the current global pandemic, we have to modify our approach with regards to bringing people together. We will continue to promote outdoor recreation and encourage people to independently* get outside for a dose of nature.
Yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Full CNN article. This federal directive means that we have to cancel our Recreation Northwest EXPO that was planned to be held on May 2nd in Bellingham, WA.
We will continue to promote our registered EXPO Exhibitors and Alliance Members via our blog and newsletter, The Confluence, on our social media channels via Instagram and Facebook. Please join us in showing support for the local outdoor recreation community and the continuation of our programs.
As Recreation Northwest’s Executive Director and as a parent of an active child, we will continue to promote outdoor recreation and provide resources for sensible decision making. This is the latest from our Whatcom County Health Department (Adapted from Public Health Seattle & King County, March 15, 2020) Guidelines for Gatherings with Children and Youth while schools are closed. Highlights: Research shows that daily time for kids outdoors also boosts the health and wellbeing of the adults in their lives.
This is an excellent opportunity to give yourself a Parkscription! You can use the tool we have provided to healthcare professionals to find a park that suits you and your family’s needs. Go to ParkFinder.org and pick the park that’s right for you.
*independently (please practice safe “physical distancing” measures).
Todd Elsworth, Executive Director
COVID-19 resources for reference:
Washington State Department of Health has set up a call center to answer questions. Anyone who has questions about what is happening with coronavirus in Washington State, how it is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms should call the hotline at 1 (800) 525-0127 and press #.
Todd Elsworth is one of the many “Mossy-haired lunatics roaming the dripping peninsulas”, described in “I’m Here for the Weather” by Tom Robbins. As executive director, he works to fulfill our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play.