The UW-Green Bay Office of the Chancellor emailed the following from Chancellor Michael Alexander to the campus community on Thursday, May 7, 2020.
Dear Campus Community,
Over the past several weeks, we have been asked by many members of the internal and external community when we would begin allowing access to the outdoor public spaces on our Green Bay Campus. Campus leadership has been debating this for some time. We are often asked why are the trails and arboretum not open when Gov. Evers lifted restrictions on outdoor recreation areas. The arboretum trails are part of the campus, they are funded by student fees, grants and sponsorships and gifts. Different than a municipal, county or state park, the trails are not created for the purpose of public recreation. They are part of the University and serve the mission of providing educational and research opportunities for our students and faculty. Of course, during normal times the University is happy to have the public and the campus community use these trails for recreation, but these are not normal times.
A number of things will factor into our decisions to open these spaces. The top priority is the safety of our employees and visitors. That said, we are anxious to open our trails, natural areas and golf courses to the public. It is our intention to work toward opening these areas on July 1, but please be aware that our plans may have to be flexible based on conditions on July 1. Due to recent flooding and rain, large portions of our arboretum trails on the Green Bay Campus are in disrepair. Our staff is working as quickly as possible to prepare for the safe use of all of these areas in the coming weeks. We have many staff members on furlough due to COVID-19 and it is slowing our normal progress to prepare the spaces. We are also closely monitoring the advice of local health experts on when and how to open.
Thank you for your patience and we look forward to opening these spaces as soon as we can do so in a manner that is safe to the public and our faculty, staff, and students.