More Kansans participating in outdoor activities

Joplin Area Coronavirus

KANSAS — People are heading outdoors as they look for new forms of entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic.

A national research group there are five outdoor activities more people are trying. Equipment sales are up for biking, paddling, golfing, camping, and even bird watching.

The outdoor activities provide people a good way to find entertainment while being safe. Cypress Ridge Golf course in Topeka is noticing the difference.

Penny Hickman, Cypress Ridge, Head Golf Professional, said, “Our occupancy rates for our tee times is actually higher than I’ve ever seen them. Our rounds are up by 20 percent this year, so it’s been great having an outlet for people who have been cooped up in their homes.”

Longtime golfers are playing more with time on their hands, but there has also been a increase of new golfers trying to get in the swing of things.

“Its been hard for me to do my regular job because I’ve been having to give so many lessons this year, so I’ve just met so many new people wanting to try it, just for something to do, again just to get out of the house.”

Others are looking to the water, and are seeing how they like canoeing and kayaking.

Kim Bellemere, Friends of the Kaw, Program Manager, said, “We are getting calls almost everyday from people wanting to know where they can get a kayak and how they can get on the river, and that’s new, it’s definitely increased this summer, the number of calls we get.”

The organization, Friends of the Kaw puts on groups floats, it says they’re seeing some of the highest numbers. And floaters are finding out how much they enjoy it.

“It’s a really good way to social distance, it’s easy to do on the river, and it’s also you’re in nature which is rejuvenating and if you’re stressed out and maybe getting a little stir-crazy from being inside, it’s a great thing to do.”

The pleasant weather also helping more people get outside.

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