Like all of us, we at TPE are learning how to adapt to the reality of COVID-19. One of the major impacts for us is on our field trips and work parties. These events are critical to our work of caring for the land, building our human community, and reaching out to engage others in our mission. We have had to give careful thought to how to safely conduct TPE field trips, work parties, and other events while protecting the safety of our members and public health. In doing this, we recognized the need to clearly identify who is responsible for making decisions and communicating with our leaders and members so that we can quickly modify our approach as the situation changes.
The TPE staff and board have worked together to develop and approve a new policy and resources for safely conducting our events while the COVID-19 pandemic continues:
- The TPE COVID-19 Policy was approved by the TPE Board on May 20, 2020. The policy covers all types of TPE events (field trips, work parties, prescribed burns, workshops, lectures, courses, social events, meetings, and conferences).
- The Current TPE Events COVID-19 Guidelines is the up-to-date set of specific practices and recommendations for safely holding TPE events, based on the current orders and public health recommendations from the CDC and our three states (WI, MN and IL). The Current Guidelines are written by the Executive Director, approved by the Executive Committee of the Board, and reviewed at least monthly for changes in the situation.
- The COVID-19 Guide for TPE Event Leaders contains specific best practices and tips to help you plan, publicize, and conduct your event safely.
Please contact Diane Hills, Outreach and Development Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org, (608) 239-4699) for more information or assistance with publicizing your event.
We ask that those of you who either lead or attend events to please cooperate with the new Current Guidelines so that our field trips and work parties can be safe for everyone. We know that it’s a pain to wear masks and hard to remember to stay sufficiently separated. Frankly, none of us enjoy these rules at all! But this is truly the only way that we can continue to do the work needed to care for the natural communities we love and to share them with others while COVID-19 is still with us. Getting back out again on the prairies and savannas with our TPE friends will make it worthwhile!