McHenry County area park districts, library announce new rules, cancellations as Tier 3 mitigations take effect

This January 2020 file photo shows Marcy Hippler of Cary taking her 14-year-old schnauzer, Teddy, out for some exercise at the Hoffman Park dog park in Cary. The dog park like all Cary Park District outdoor facilities will remain open as the state enters Tier 3 mitigations while indoor programming has been cancelled.
This January 2020 file photo shows Marcy Hippler of Cary taking her 14-year-old schnauzer, Teddy, out for some exercise at the Hoffman Park dog park in Cary. The dog park like all Cary Park District outdoor facilities will remain open as the state enters Tier 3 mitigations while indoor programming has been cancelled.

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As new, stricter restriction take effect Friday, park districts, libraries and other institutions have scaled back some of the programs and services they offer.

Some of the changes include reservations required for fitness centers, cancellations of indoor programs and the end of indoor facility and shelter rentals. Many libraries are switching to curbside or drive-thru services.


The Algonquin Area Public Library will close both of its branches and return to curbside and drive-thru services only starting Monday, though it warned on its website the date could change.

In the meantime, the main library branch will be limited to 30 patrons and the Eastgate Branch will be limited to 10, according to the website. Public computers are not available and patrons are asked to keep their visits brief.


The Cary Park District's community and fitness centers will remain open while most recreation program have been either cancelled or paused, according to an email to residents. All parks, trails, and playgrounds –  including Hoffman Park Dog Park and the skate park at Lions Park – will remain open.

The Community Center will have adjusted hours next week due to the holiday and the fitness center willl be requiring reservations, something it had been doing prior to Tier 3 taking effect. Locker rooms will remain closed and face coverings must be worn at all times, even while using the fitness equipment.

Program participants impacted by cancellations will be contacted by a park district employee. All Community Center and shelter rentals have also been cancelled for during Tier 3.

Special events and programs planned for the December holiday season are still a go, including Letters to Santa, Jaycee Park Holiday Walk Tree Decorating, at-home snowman kit, the Holiday Lights Decorating Contest, drive-thru visits with Santa, and You've Been Elfed. Registration for these events is in process.

Any changes to these events, including cancellations will be posted on our website and the Park District Facebook page plus all registered participants will be contacted.

When weather allows, the sled hill at Lions Park and the outdoor ice rink at Jaycee Park will be open. The warming shelter at Jaycee Park will be closed.

The Cary Area Public Library will close its building starting Monday and will move to drive-thru, pick-up services only, according to its website. It will also have shortened hours.

Reference services, virtual programming, virtual Book an Expert appointments, online readers advisory and Homebound Delivery are available during the shortened library hours. Online databases and courses are also available along with other digital materials 24/7 online.

The library's WiFi can also be accessed for free from the parking lot, according to the website.

Crystal Lake

The Crystal Lake Park District announced Thursday afternoon that all in-person programs – excluding the Barlina House Preschool and the Extended Time programs – will be placed on hold until further notice.

Staff will communicate directly with program participants via phone or email about modification, suspension, cancellation or a virtual option for registered programs and events scheduled to take place from Nov. 19 through Dec. 15.

Park and playgrounds will remain open, and so will the park district's Administrative Building, according to the release. The Nature Center and Colonel Palmer House will both close.

Basketball courts to groups of 10 or fewer will remain open as long as weather cooperates and complaince does not become an issue. Competitive play is not allowed.

Hound Town Dog Park at Lippold Park will also remain open to members, and the Lippold Park Skate Park will be limited to 10 participants or fewer. If there is a wait, time in the skate park will be limited to one hour.

Sledding hills and ice skating at Main and West beaches will be open depending on the weather.

The Racket Club will be open for private lessons, advanced reservations for singles only and permanent court time users. Details are available by contacting The Racket Club directly at (847) 658-5688. Group lessons will pause until further notice.

Facility rentals – not including field rentals, which are allowed for groups of 10 or fewer – have been cancelled and those affected by the mitgiations will be contacted by staff, according to the release. Reservations for future dates can still be made.

Visitors to park facilities are asked to follow social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings.

The Sage YMCA of Metro Chicago in Crystal Lake, like all YMCAs across the region, will be scaling back as well – reducing capacity to 25% and suspending all indoor fitness classes until further notice, according to an email to members.

Personal one-on-one trainings will still be offered and so will its remote learning support and early childhood and care programs, according to the email. Members will still be able to use the fitness center, though it's recommended they make a reservation to ensure their spot. The pool will also remain open for lap swim and private lessons.

Face coverings are required at all times, according to the eamil. Locker room use will be restricted and showers will be closed.


The Huntley Park District has put a number of programs on hold, saying that it hopes to have more information by Dec. 3 and that health metrics will improve so that the region can move to less restrictive mitigations.

The programs paused until at least Dec. 3 include the youth basketball league, all volleyball classes and clinics, Hot Shot Sports Basketball Clinic, NERF Elite Battle Class, Mini Ninja Warriors, Adult Tot Ninja Warriors, gymnastics and parkour held at Royalty Gymnastics, all ice skating classes held at Leafs Ice Arena, Huntley Spirit Clinic, pickleball and Mom and Me: Christmas Crafts and Stories.

A decision on whether these programs may resume or be cancelled will be made by Dec. 3, according to the website. If programs resume, rescheduled dates or prorated refunds would be issued for any missed activity dates.

All Shotokan karate, KiMudo, Young Rembrandt cartooning and Kid Rock and Tot Rock classes will continue virtually.

Parks, playgrounds and trails remain open from dawn to dusk, according to the website. The fitness center remains open to members only with masks required. In-person group fitness classes will be cancelled but a combination of live and virtual classes will be offered.

The Remote Learning Camp will also remain open, though the start of Seedlings Preschool will remain on hold.

Lake in the Hills

The village of Lake in the Hills will close several public facilities, starting Monday, according to a news release. They include Village Hall, the public works faclity and the airport office. At the airport, staff will still be on hand to provide full-service fuel, but the itself office will be closed. The Lake in the Hills Police Department remains open.

Essential services will remain accessible via email and telephone. Staff can be reached by phone at 847-960-7400 and additional
contact options can be found at lith.org/contact-us.

The village's recreation division paused programming starting Friday for at least two weeks, according to the release. The only In-person exceptions are Flurry Fest, Back-2-School Remote Learning Camp, and No School Days, which will all run in compliance with current guidelines.


The McHenry Public Library closed its building starting Wednesday in preparation for the Tier 3 mitigations, according to its website. It is instead offering only curbside pick-up by appointment only.

Appointments to use technology will be available on a limited basis, according to the website. Patrons can make 30-minute appointments to use a public computer, printer, copier, scanner or fax no more than two days ahead of time.

Patrons can also ask for documents to printed using the remote wireless printing link on the library's website under "Special Resources," according to the website.


The Woodstock Public Library will be limiting the number of patrons allowed in the building at any one time to 25 and will have a zero-tolerance policy for those not wearing mask properly, according to its most recent COVID-19 update. Patrons will be limited to 60 minutes on the computers.

The library will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, according to its website. The WiFi signal will be available for use 24/7 from the parking lot.

Curbside pick-up remains available, and the library asks materials being returned be placed in the outside return slots and not be brought into the building.

If a patron is not able to wear a mask, they should call or email the library ahead of time so an accommodation can be worked out.

* This article will be updated as more cancellations are announced. Tips and notices can be emailed to tips@nwherald.com.

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