Governor eases some restrictions on outdoor programming

Governor Walz issued a new Executive Order yesterday afternoon, EO 20-103. For most of us there is no significant impact. People are still encouraged to get outside when possible and to take advantage of the trails, open spaces, and recreational opportunities that are near them. The public is still being asked to social distance and limit their outdoor activities to members of their household as much as possible. However, there was one update to the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines that could impact some of your programs.

Youth sports and adult sports are not covered by the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. For that information you will want to read through COVID-19 Youth and Adult Sports under Executive Order 20-103. The change that most directly impacts our industry’s programming efforts is that guided programs are now limited to 15 people (indoor or outdoor) and to three households or less. This reflects the same guidelines in the COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Youth and Student Programs. This number does not include the guide/instructor for the program/activity. This restriction is in place until January 10, 2021. From a programmer’s mind, this is tough, but not insurmountable. We can still operate programs, we just need to think a little more outside the box, which is nothing new.

We are still being encouraged to keep facilities and rental spaces that encourage larger gatherings closed or limit availability. This could mean your fire rings that you have going at ski locations, warming houses along trails, or general rental facilities that people typically reserve for family gatherings.

We encourage you to keep your head high, stay positive, and continue to give people a place to escape and guide themselves through the pause!