Get Outside in Nature – A Safe Fun Thing to Do

Many Americans are being asked to stay home and practice social distancing. Many of you have kids at home, some little and some teens. Families are sticking together and finding ways to cope with the changes we are experiencing. Schools throughout the entire state of Illinois are closed from March 17 to at least March 30 at this point.  In Marshall, all extracurricular events, practices, dances, banquets, gym uses, etc. have been suspended, leaving kids and teens with little activity, and we’re not counting video games.  Looks like it is time to get outside in nature.

The weather is having its usual ups and downs, as is typical in March. Still, there will be days when the sun is out, and the temperature makes it warm enough to get outside in nature. While the State Parks are closed sadly, the local parks in Marshall still offer green spaces and spots to sit outside and have a picnic or just get some fresh air.

Taking a walk or a bike ride will both refresh your senses and give you and the family some much-needed exercise. Remember when we were kids in school and had to do our exercises, jumping jacks, toe touches, and push-ups? Why not do those in the backyard or, if you can, in local green space? Drop a yoga mat down in the fresh air and do some stretches and sun salutations.

Taking a walk outside, in nature is peaceful and will invigorate your senses and raise your spirit. Illinois is a beautiful state. If nothing else, pile the kids and the dogs in the car and take a drive around Marshall and beyond. If you take Fido with you, be considerate and put him on a leash if you plan to walk with him. Remember to wear comfy shoes and take water with you. Hydrating is very important for kids, dogs, grandparents, and mom and dad too. Keeping our senior citizens healthy, safe, rested, and in good spirits is imperative, especially while we go through this tough time in our history.

If you go for a walk in the woods near your home or at a park, be careful to use insect repellent. While it’s not summer yet, there are still ticks that live in tall grass, so check your clothes to be sure none have attached themselves to you or the pups.

Local parks are still open, and making a picnic or bringing coloring books and schoolbooks outside can give a little relief from the stress of being sequestered inside our homes. Just remember the 6-foot distance rule.

Millcreek Park

10889 E Clarksville Rd
Marshall, Illinois 62441
(217) 889-3901
Currently, Mill Creek Park is open and allowing visitors. It’s located 7 miles Northwest of Marshall, IL, on the Lincoln Heritage Trail Road (Clarksville Road). Mill Creek Park consists of 2,600 acres of land, with 811 acres of water.
Their motto: Our Mission is to “manage and preserve the natural resources and provide health and recreational opportunities.

The park offers ATV trails and places to walk or just take a book and sit by their beautiful lake to read and relax. Water is a great way to lift the spirits and feed the soul. At the moment, you can still launch a small boat or canoe if you have one, and spend a little peaceful time seeing birds and fish, trees, and open skies.

The park camper’s clean-up volunteer weekend is still set for March 27, and 28, starting at 9 am, weather permitting, but call the park or keep a watch on their Facebook page for updates and changes. Camping and fishing season are set to start soon, and we are all hopeful that those activities can still happen.

Check here – for updates and to get the link to their newsletter.

For lots of info about the park check out their website at

For a list of all the parks in the Marshall area, you can go to

Remember that even if you go to a park, take the kids and pets for a walk around the neighborhood, or go for a drive, stick to the game plan. Stay 6 feet apart from other citizens, no playdates, no parties even with close friends coming to visit. You can sit on the front porch, in the backyard, or even in a local park if we respect the keeping of our distance.

No matter how healthy we feel, we need to consider others, especially our senior population and those who have compromised immune systems and illnesses.

Nature is calling – use this time to get outside and enjoy her gifts. Marshall Strong!