Chicago outdoors and COVID-19 updates: Morton Arboretum closes, Chicago harbors, buoys will not be buoys

Updates on Chicago outdoors and COVID-19 today include Morton Arboretum closing, a link to an explanation on Chicago harbors, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s buoys will be delayed being placed and Portage launching.

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A file photo from 2017 of Lake Marmo at Morton Arboretum. Credit: Dale Bowman

A file photo from 2017 of Lake Marmo at Morton Arboretum.

Dale Bowman

Here are the updates I found or heard about today: Morton Arboretum closed, an extension explanation on Chicago harbors closure, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s buoys are delayed being placed and Portage Public Marina launch.

Morton Arboretum on Thursday closed for the month.

Here is the word:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention Beginning April 2, The Morton Arboretum will be temporarily closed through April 30as an additional measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Arboretum made its 1,700 acres available for essential outdoor activity as long as it was safe and prudent to do so. The proactive, full closure of the Arboretum’s site is to ensure social distancing in support of public health. The safety and wellbeing of Arboretum visitors and employees is top priority. We look forward to reopening at a future date. Stay connected with the Arboretum during this time throughonline learning opportunities, and by following Arboretum Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media channels.

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The Chicago Harbors posted an extensive explanation on what the closure through April 30 means. I suggest reading it in full by clicking here. One of the key things is that the hope is to still open on May 1. The mild winter and some good work has the harbors ready to go.

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The weight for the Wilmette buoy being towed out for placement in 2015. Credit: Dale Bowman

The weight for the Wilmette buoy being towed out for placement in 2015.

Dale Bowman

Earlier this week, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant tweeted that it’s placement of buoys on southern Lake Michigan is being delayed:

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant @ILINSeaGrant Mar 30 Important: Current state & university restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are preventing us from launching our #LakeMichigan buoys anytime soon. Resources for data: • GLERL models - https://glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/ • NWS models - https://weather.gov/marine/glcstmz

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The launches at Portage Public Marina in Indiana remain open for self-pay ($10) launching.

Here is the word on launching and a bit of an update:

COVID-19 MANDATED CLOSURE OF OFFICES TO THE PUBLIC; The marina office is closed to the public until April 30th. Staff will be available to answer your phone call inquiries.Day Launches; please place your $10 launch fee in the secure red drop box located by the ramps. For Season Slip Holders; we are accepting credit card payments over the phone or you can mail your payment to the marina.

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