|Warm weather allows students to enjoy outdoor activities|
|Written by Lee Strubinger, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 28 March 2012 12:27|
Cabin fever. It grips the mind around the middle of February when it is too cold to do anything outside, yet there is a strong yearning to be outdoors. This year has been strange when it comes to weather.
With a quick look on the Quad and around campus, one will notice that students are enjoying the fourth warmest winter on record, according to statistics from the Illinois State Water Survey. Students are looking to get rid of their brief stint with cabin fever.
Ali Paulson, senior English major, enjoyed the unusually warm weather around campus at one of the parks offered by the Town of Normal.
“I go running on Constitution Trail with my dog Mack,” Paulson said.
Fortunately, for students at ISU, the surrounding area offers a myriad of different opportunities to get rid of this debilitating fictional fever, two that go unnoticed and are not far from the ISU campus are Lake Bloomington and COMLARA County Park.
“Both are located north of the ISU campus,” Rick Twait, superintendent of water purification at the Bloomington Water Treatment Plant, said. “Just head out on I39.”
Lake Bloomington is a great spot to go fishing and to get outdoors. According to the City of Bloomington website, there is an abundance of game fish to go fishing for. There are also minimum fish sizes and creel limits associated with the lake. Be sure to check them out before going.
“Lake Bloomington’s parks are nice,” said Twait. “But COMLARA Park might be the better place to suggest for curing cabin fever.”
COMLARA County Park is part of the regional parks that are provided by the McLean County Department of Parks and Recreation. The park has over 2,250 acres of wilderness that hosts an abundance of activities. It is located north of Normal, about a 15 minute drive, off of the interstate.
“The park is located around a 1.000 acre lake, Evergreen Lake,” Brad Wood, operations supervisor for McLean County Department of Parks and Recreation, said. “It is one of the top lakes for fishing in Illinois.”
There are picnic spots available during the day, and shelters for lager events. There are over 20 different hiking trails available in the park. Camping is also an option.
“There are multi-use trails good for biking,” Wood continued. “There are 15 to 20 miles of single track for bike trails out here.”
On April 14th, boat rental will be opening at COMLARA Park, which includes canoes, kayaks, rowboats, paddleboats, and motorboats. The last weekend in March the bait shop will open up for fishing.
“If [an ISU student] doesn’t have a fishing pole, we have a ‘load a pole’ program where someone can borrow one,” Wood said.
Also, remember that anyone 16 years of age or older must have a valid Ill. fishing license to fish.
Even if students do not have the resources to make it out to the two parks, one could always enjoy a round of golf at the Weibring Golf Club in ISU.
“[ISU students] get the cheapest rates for greens fees and special discounts on three different [types] of passes,” Will Cullen, supervisor at Weibring Golf Club, said. “We have a great practice facility out here. We have the largest putting green in Bloomington-Normal and a big short game area as well, and those are free to use.”
The Weibring Golf Course is on its way to becoming the premier course in central Illinois, and is a great facility to take advantage of, Cullen added.
The unusually warm weather is one to be taken advantage of. The only way to get rid of cabin fever is to spend time outside, and there are plenty of ways to do just that.