How to See May Flowers at Allerton Park
One of the seven wonders of Illinois soon will reopen most of its outdoor amenities to visitors.
With the statement “We hope you can safely utilize Allerton to find peace and inspiration during this challenging time,” Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello announced on April 29 it would reopen the majority of its gardens and other outdoor areas starting on May 4.
Allerton joins other local attractions that are reopening on a limited basis in emphasizing that any decision made to visit a public place should be carefully weighed by the individual visitor. Instead of encouraging travel from great distances, they hope to be valued as a local resource for healthy visitors who will respect their guidelines.
Remember, only as recently as March 27 did Allerton officials decide to reopen the trails on the South side. We can assume that any problems with this newly expanded access will result in a reversion to a far more limited situation. (Allerton Park is owned and operated by the University of Illinois.)
So let’s behave, people! I need to see some peonies this spring!
If you’re considering a visit to Allerton with your family, just wait until May and then follow these common-sense rules: bring masks, hand sanitizer, water, and snacks; understand there are limited restrooms and trash receptacles; keep your hands to yourselves and your distance from other people; and enjoy the beauty.
Here are the specifics:
To help visitors maintain social distancing and to limit the spread of COVID-19, Allerton has instituted the following precautions. These are listed on their Facebook page where you should check for the most up-to-date additions or changes.
- Starting May 4, hours will be 8 a.m. to sunset, daily.
- The Visitor Center, Greenhouse Café, and Mansion are closed to the public until further notice.
- Public restrooms are available near the Main Parking Lot. These facilities will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day. We recommend bringing your own hand sanitizer for additional protection.
- Bring your own water – water fountains and pet watering stations will not be available.
- Trash cans have been removed to limit the number of touchable surfaces. Please use the dumpsters located in the Visitor Center Parking Lot or Main Parking Lot or take your trash with you.
- Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and other visitors. If unable to do so, try a different garden/area. Please note that high traffic areas like the Peony Garden (in mid-to-late May) may be crowded – expect a wait time for viewing.
- Large gatherings or events are not permitted. Any groups congregating will be asked to leave.
- Face masks are encouraged (especially in the Formal Garden area), as recommended by the CDC.
- Please limit the surfaces you come into contact with, including sculptures. The House of the Golden Buddhas (in the Fu Dog Garden) will be closed to the public.
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