Some friendly zombies want to pick your brain about emergency preparedness.
The cartoon character zombie images are stationed along Snapper Pond Trail at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve as part of a “Zombies! Emergency Preparedness Challenge” running through November 28.
The free, all ages outdoor challenge coincides with the indoor “Don’t be a Zombie! Be Prepared” exhibit at Plum Creek Nature Center, which is in Goodenow Grove. Both the challenge and the exhibit are designed to get visitors to ask themselves what they would do if the worst happened and how to best prepare for emergencies and disasters.
To tackle the zombie challenge, participants should start at the trailhead to Snapper Pond or visit Plum Creek Nature Center. You can pick up a zombie challenge sheet at either location. Then look for the real estate signs with QR codes.
“All you need is a smart phone to read the codes,” said Kate Caldwell, a Forest Preserve interpretive naturalist. “Follow the signs along the trail with a pen and scavenger hunt sheet in hand and answer the questions on the signs. The challenge sheet includes zombie icons that match the signs as you pass them.”
Each question is designed to get you thinking about preparing for an emergency.
“The challenge is to answer the question in your own words first,” Caldwell explained. “Then scan the QR code to reveal the answer. Were you right? Right or wrong, you move on to the next sign.”
Participants who complete their answer sheet and will get a prize if they bring it inside the nature center.
“If you don’t have a cellphone, it’s OK,” Caldwell added. “Fill in your answers on the scavenger hunt sheet and we can go over the answers in the nature center and give you your prize.”
The nature center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays; and closed on Mondays.
The indoor exhibit, which also runs through November 28, was curated by the Purdue University College of Agriculture Exhibit Design Center and is brought to the Forest Preserve through funding provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County.
Caldwell said both the exhibit and the challenge are a fun way to help people prepare for the worst using a fun zombie theme.
“The difference between an emergency and a disaster is that both are sudden and unexpected, like Zombies!” she said. “But a disaster means that resources are not available. That’s why it is so important to be prepared. Zombies are the entertaining distraction that represents the idea of something that catches you by surprise.”
The Forest Preserve’s goal is to connect people to all facets of nature and preparing them for disasters is just one more way that can be done, Caldwell explained.
“Being connected to nature will help us to appreciate what survival means when we are affected by a disaster or an emergency. Being connected to nature makes us more resourceful.”
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