Safety reminders ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Emily Ness
Updated: May 22, 2020 10:52 PM

There are a number of universal precautions to take during Memorial Day weekend like wearing a like jacket on a boat, keeping bonfires under control and driving safely.

"We’re just reminding people, if you haven’t been out on the roads, be patient, give people a lot of room, slow down in the work zones and really be attentive to the driving because it is a holiday where people are going out and its their unofficial kickoff of summer," Mike Dougherty, Spokesman for MN-DOT said. "We have up to date information about road conditions on our website."

In addition to universal precautions, there are new precautions in place due to the ongoing pandemic.

"We are asking people to continue to maintain social distance and in keeping with the Executive Order 2056, we are asking people to keep their groups smaller than ten people,” Kim Pleticha, Assistant Communications Director for MN DNR said.

So, making the most of Memorial Day weekend may look a little different this year.

"Say for instance, people do stop at rest areas, they will see heightened cleaning, disinfecting. They’ll see a lot of the warning sings with the warnings that we’re familiar with now: 'Wash your hands, do some physical distancing, cover the cough,' those sorts of things, but just good reminders,” Dougherty said.

But, despite this new protocol, officials stress that there are still plenty of things to do in our beautiful Northland.

John Edman, Director of Explore Minnesota said their organization has put together a list of activities for people to take part in this weekend—in person or virtually. That list can be found here.

“You can go out for a hike. There’s lots of hiking trails in terms of state parks and all the recreation areas all throughout Minnesota—in the Duluth area, in the Twin Cities, in Southern Minnesota. Just an incredible amount of trails. People can hop on a bike and go biking. We have over 4,000 miles of bike trails,” Edman said. "A lot of people are also very interested in birding. They’re interested in getting out there and being in nature."

Additionally, the Minnesota DNR said state parks, forests, recreation centers, wildlife management areas and scientific & natural areas are open. They also said that although camping in developed campgrounds is still prohibited through May 31st, people are able to partake in remote or dispersed camping as long as they are at least one mile away from developed campgrounds. More information about that can be found here.

"It is a wilderness experience so you do need to be a hearty type camper who has done this before and is able to pack in and pack out all of your materials and you don’t get any amenities so there are no flushed toilets or showers or anything like that, but it is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors if you are an experienced camper,” Pleticha said.

As always, there will be additional authorities out patrolling this weekend, so people should plan for sober rides.


Emily Ness

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