Up North: Covid creativity renewed by fresh ideas, fresh air | www.WDIO.com

Up North: Covid creativity renewed by fresh ideas, fresh air

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: December 09, 2020 11:00 PM
Created: December 09, 2020 10:14 PM

Usually the world is our playground, but in 2020 that global jungle gym is mostly closed. 

So Duluth Parks and Recreation has started thinking up activities to enjoy in your own backyard, the Northland.

"With not having as many daylight hours, we know that it's even more important for people to get outside," said Kate Van Daele, Public Information Officer for the city of Duluth. "Even when it's a little cold. But, you know, having your hat and mittens and a scarf on. We would just encourage people to try to get out anyway."

Duluthian Sarah Leininger said, "it plays a huge role in our day to day lives just to be able to get out." 

Over Thanksgiving weekend the Parks & Rec department organized a Turkey Search. Twenty paper turkeys were hidden for visitors of the Leif Erikson Park and DWP Trail, like Sarah and her son Sully Leininger, to find.

"We were just looking for Thanksgiving activities," Sarah said. "An activity for the kids, an activity that the dog could accompany as well, and a socially distanced activity. So [the turkey search] was a perfect kind of combination to get out in the beautiful weather, and also then be able to kind of keep an eye out for the little turkeys that were well hidden."

"We're so used to being together with our families and friends at Thanksgiving," said Van Daele. "So this was one more way to have a fun activity, especially when other opportunities like our museums and our zoos are closed."

The buck, or gobble, didn't stop there. Duluth Parks & Rec is keeping up with the creativity.

They've continued to share friendly competitions or craft ideas, like a frozen gem scavenger hunt, on their Facebook page.

Van Daele said, "it's been neat to get to see people using social media more. Not only to voice their opinions, but also to be able to find different places in Duluth that they haven't been before."

The games are another way to inspire locals to stay fit, and experience the outdoor beauty Duluth has to offer. 

During the pandemic, it's also a reason for distance learners and people working from home to try something new. "Being able to get out of the house and doing an activity is the big important part," said Leininger. 

So this winter, while socially distancing in a mask, try and carve out some time to explore.


Alicia Tipcke

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