With dramatic changes to our day-to-day existence, it’s hard to avoid the presence of the coronavirus pandemic in our lives as well as the news. These articles take us beyond the corners of our homes, inspiring us to think about the opportunities in, impacts on and interactions with the natural environment brought on by this pandemic.

Despite orders to stay home, Michigan residents can still recreate in the outdoors. Local parks, such as Kensington Metropark, pictured above, are open for hiking, biking, walking, and more.

Get fresh air and enjoy a hike, bike on scenic trails
Michiganders are still able to enjoy the outdoors amidst the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order. Southeast Michigan is home to top notch hiking trails, metroparks, and recreation ares, many of which remain open during the pandemic. Check out this list of some fantastic natural ares to visit from the Detroit News.

Earth Day @ 50: Insights from a pandemic
In light of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, environmental and natural resources researchers from the University of Michigan share their insights and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the article, researchers provide preliminary conclusions concerning humans’ impact on the climate, air quality, seismology, and ecology as well as the existing environmental disparities that are highlighted during the crisis.

As flooding season looms in Michigan, here’s what officials worry about amid the pandemic
This article from the Detroit Free Press explores the unfortunate collision between two state crises: high water level/flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic. With concerns about coronavirus exposure and statewide restrictions in place, measures to slow shoreline erosion and evacuate residents are being reconsidered. And with emergency response organizations, such as the American Red Cross, already under stress due to the pandemic, flooding response has become increasingly complicated.

EPA, citing coronavirus, drastically relaxes rules for polluters
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental Protection Agency is temporarily relaxing environmental rules and regulations for power plants, factories, and other facilities. This move suspends the enforcement of certain environmental laws and corresponding penalties for noncompliance in an effort to ease existing burdens due to the pandemic. While HRWC is deeply troubled by the economic impacts of the virus, we are also concerned that the nation’s top environmental regulatory agency is failing to protect our environmental health as well.

Trout stocking delayed in Huron River and Spring Mill Pond
Fish-stocking at two locations in the Huron River watershed, the headwaters in Oakland County and Spring Mill Pond in Livingston County, has been delayed until mid-May due to state precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Once the Huron River is stocked at these two locations, anglers can expect a mix of approximately 3,400 adult brown trout and rainbow trout.

Limiting our carbon footprint in a post COVID-19 world — we shouldn’t go back to business as usual
During a time of cataclysmic change in our society, this opinion piece from The Hill explores whether we can alter the carbon-intensive systems that will only bring about future climate chaos. How can economic recovery happen in a way that keeps carbon emissions low as currently seen throughout the world? What responses that were employed during the COVID-19 pandemic can be used in the fight against climate change?