VCCD COVID-19 Update


COVID19 social distance parks image

Friday, November 20, 2020 TIER 3 MITIGATIONS UPDATE

With Illinois moving to the Restore Illinois Tier 3 Mitigation Plan, the Vermilion County Conservation District announces the following updates for Kennekuk County Park, Forest Glen Preserve, Lake Vermilion County Park, and Heron County Park beginning November 20, 2020:
* All Conservation District properties (including the Kickapoo Rail Trail) will remain OPEN for hiking, walking, hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities. The Visitor Centers at Kennekuk and Forest Glen will remain closed to the public but have a walk-up window for visitors. All other buildings, including educational facilities, historic buildings, and the ranger station will remain closed.
* New shelter reservations for 2020 are suspended until further notice.
* All Tier 3 Mitigations of Restore Illinois Guidelines must be followed while visiting the parks. No groups larger than 10 people at a time and maintain social distancing.
* Beginning Monday, December 7, Forest Glen Preserve will close at 4:30 pm, and Kennekuk County Park will close at 6:00 pm. Lake Vermilion and Heron County Park will be open from dawn to dusk.
* Park guidelines are subject to change if they are not followed or if new guidelines are issued by the State of Illinois. For any additional questions, please feel free to ask here or by calling Kennekuk, 217-442-1691, or Forest Glen, 217-662-2142.

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Friday, June 26, 2020 UPDATE:
With Illinois transitioning into Phase 4 of “Restore Illinois,” the Vermilion County Conservation District announces the following updates for Kennekuk County Park, Forest Glen Preserve, Lake Vermilion, and Heron County Park. The updates will begin Friday, June 26, 2020.

New Updates:
* Shelter Reservations will resume at Kennekuk County Park and Forest Glen. All reservations must be for groups of less than 50 people.
* All CDC, IDPH, and Phase Four of Restore Illinois Guidelines must be followed while visiting the parks. No groups larger than 50 people at a time and maintain social distancing.
Previous Updates That Are Still In Place:
* The Visitor Centers at Kennekuk and Forest Glen will remain closed to the public but have a walk-up window for visitors. All Education buildings, Nature Centers, and Historic Buildings will remain closed. The Ranger Station at Forest Glen will be closed with a walk-up window for campground registration.
* All parks will close promptly at 10:00 pm.
* Select outhouses are open for use. At Forest Glen, the outhouses at Beech Grove, Audubon Barn, North Picnic Area, and The Pioneer Homestead Cabin will open. At Kennekuk, the outhouses at the Wheeler Nature Trail, Horseshoe Pond, Red Oak School, Middle Fork Canoe Access, Lake Mingo Boat Ramp, and Adrian’s Pond will open. The outhouse at the boat ramp at Lake Vermilion will also open. Heron County Park’s outhouse will remain closed at this time. The outhouses will be cleaned on a limited basis. We recommend you bring hand sanitizer and/or wipes with you when visiting the parks and use the outhouses with appropriate precautions.
* The campgrounds at Forest Glen will continue to remain open. For full details, please see our previous Facebook post on May 27 or our website, www.VCCD.org.
* Fishing Tournaments may continue to be scheduled for Lake Vermilion and Lake Mingo. For more details, please see our previous Facebook post on May 28 or our website, www.VCCD.org.
* Park guidelines are subject to change if they are not followed or if new guidelines are issued by the State of Illinois. For any additional questions, please feel free to ask here or by calling Kennekuk, 217-442-1691, or Forest Glen, 217-662-2142.
__________________________________________________________________________Wednesday, May 27, 2020 UPDATE:
The Vermilion County Conservation District will open the family and tent campgrounds at Forest Glen Preserve on June 1, 2020. Backpack Trail Camping at Forest Glen will also reopen on June 1 for the East Camp and Group Camp areas. The following guidelines must be followed by anyone using the campgrounds:
* All campers must be in groups of no more than 10 people and should all be from the same household or family. All persons staying at the campsite must be listed on the registration form prior to camping.
* Only Pre-registered Backpack Trail Hikers will be allowed in the Group Campground. Otherwise, the Group Campground will remain closed until further notice.
* Only registered campers are allowed in the campgrounds, no visitors will be allowed.
* The Campground Shower House and OutHouses will be open but will be cleaned by VCCD staff only once per day.
* The VCCD strongly encourages those that have restrooms or showers with their RV’s to please use those instead of the VCCD Shower House and Restrooms. The campground dump station and hydrant will be open for only registered campers to use.
* The playground area at the campgrounds will remain closed.
* Tipi Camping will not be available this year.
* The VCCD does not take advance reservations for campsites; it is first-come/first-serve. Once campers arrive at Forest Glen, they can register for a campsite at a walk-up window at the Ranger Station. If the Ranger Station is closed, you can set up camp at an open site and complete your registration later. Normal hours of the Ranger Station are Monday – Thursday 5pm – 8pm, Friday – Sunday 12pm – 8pm. Electric sites are $22.00, Non-electric are $17.00. We do not offer full hookups but do have a dump station available to registered campers only.
* For questions and more information, please call Forest Glen at 217-662-2142.
* PLEASE NOTE: These are preliminary guidelines that are subject to change when the State of Illinois and IDPH release official camping recommendations.
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Friday, May 1, 2020 Update:
With Illinois Stay at Home Guidelines extended through the end of May, the Vermilion County Conservation District properties of Kennekuk, Forest Glen, Lake Vermilion, and Heron County Park will continue to remain OPEN to the public if the following guidelines are followed: Maintain CDC guidelines for social distancing, individuals are required to wear a face-covering or mask when visiting the park if they cannot maintain a six-foot social distance, carry out all trash, and do not vandalize or damage park property. All Conservation District parks will continue to close promptly at 8 pm. All buildings remain closed to the public. Closed buildings include Visitor Centers, Education Centers, Maintenance Buildings, Ranger Station, and inside and outside Restroom Facilities at all four parks. All playground equipment will remain closed. The campgrounds at Forest Glen are closed until further notice. No shelter or building reservations will be scheduled at this time. Any further updates or changes will be announced through our Facebook page. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

VCCD Lake Pass Update: Boat Decals for Annual or Daily Passes
Beginning Monday, May 4, 2020, all boaters will be required to purchase an annual pass or daily pass for fishing and recreational use on Lake Mingo and Lake Vermilion. Daily Passes and Annual Passes will be available at the Kennekuk Visitor Center beginning Monday, May 4. You may purchase the passes Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Kennekuk Visitor Center either curbside in the parking lot or at a walk-up window. Before you pick up your pass, please call 217-442-1691 so we can take your information over the phone, then you can come to the Visitor Center to pick up your pass. We will accept payment by Credit Card over the phone, cash, or checks made out to VCCD. A Season Boat Pass Decal is $80.00, and a Daily Boat Pass is $12.00. A Season Pass for a Canoe or Kayak is $10.00.

Lake Passes may be purchased at Lake Vermilion Boat Ramp walk up window beginning on Monday, May 18, 2020.
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Saturday, March 21, 2020 Update:
The Vermilion County Conservation District properties of Kennekuk, Forest Glen, Lake Vermilion, and Heron County Park will remain OPEN to the public if the following guidelines are followed: Maintain CDC guidelines for social distancing, carry out all trash, and do not vandalize or damage park property. All buildings remain closed to the public. Closed buildings include Visitor Centers, Education Centers, Maintenance Buildings, Ranger Station, and inside and outside Restroom Facilities at all four parks. All Conservation District parks will close promptly at 8 pm. The campgrounds at Forest Glen are closed until further notice. No shelter or building reservations will be scheduled at this time. Any further updates or changes will be announced through our Facebook page. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

We are operating with reduced staff, emails and phone calls will be returned as soon as possible.
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As of Monday, March 16, 2020, the Vermilion County Conservation District properties of Kennekuk, Forest Glen, Lake Vermilion, and Heron County Park are open to the public, but all buildings will be closed to the public. Closed buildings include Visitor Centers, Education Centers, Maintenance Buildings, Ranger Station, and inside and outside Restroom Facilities at all four parks. All Conservation District parks will close promptly at 8 pm. The campgrounds at Forest Glen are closed until further notice. No shelter or building reservations will be scheduled at this time. Any further updates or changes will be announced through our Facebook page. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. People may call Forest Glen at 217-662-2142 or Kennekuk at 217-442-1691 if they have questions.

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