What’s Open/Closed: Not All NJ Counties Reopening Parks on May 2
Many county parks will open on Saturday morning but Ocean County's parks will open more gradually while Hudson County discusses whether or not to open at all.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday lifted the executive order closing all state and county parks but individual counties will decide if they are going along. Golf courses will also be allowed to reopen.
Over half the county park systems have formally announced their plans about reopening.
Hudson County mayors met on Thursday with County Executive Tom DeGise to discuss reopening parks to make sure it is considered "safe" by their health departments.
"This consultation is being done after a number of Hudson County mayors expressed their concerns about yesterday’s order from Gov. Murphy," county spokesman James Kennelly told New Jersey 101.5 in an email.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop opened five parks on Monday in the name of mental and physical well being.
Playgrounds, restrooms, pavilions and other park facilities will remain closed at all parks.
Parking lots will be capped at half of their capacity.
Murphy said that picnics, barbecues and other social gatherings would not be allowed at parks.
He also encouraged park visitors to wear face coverings, although that will not be mandated as long as people show that they can observe social distancing guidelines. He warned that he could rescind the new order if social distancing is not observed.
WPG Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said the weather will be good for reopening this weekend.
"Considering how cool and wet the second half of April has been, we've got a good-looking forecast for the weekend. Partly sunny, breezy, and upper 60s on Saturday — that is slightly above-normal for early May. Thermometers should bump into the lower 70s across New Jersey on Sunday, but with lots of clouds and a late-day shower chance," Zarrow said.
All state parks and golf courses will be open, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Here's the status of county run parks that have announced their plans.
Atlantic: A decision will be made Thursday or Friday, according to county spokeswoman Linda Gilmore.
Bergen: Most sites within the park system will reopen on Saturday except the Bergen County Zoo and the McFaul Environmental Center, which remain closed. Golf courses will open gradually starting with Soldier Hill and Valley Brook Golf Courses opening for play on Saturday.
Burlington: No decision announced
Camden: All parks will reopen.
Cape May: No decision has been made.
Cumberland: No decision announced.
Essex: Parks and golf courses will be open on Saturday. The county is requiring face covers to be worn.
Gloucester: No decision announced.
Hudson: A decision will be made on Friday, according to county spokesman James Kennelly.
Hunterdon: No decision announced.
Mercer: Parks and golf courses will open.
Middlesex: All parks and open spaces will open.
Monmouth : All parks will reopen.
Morris: All parks and trails will be open. Restrooms remain closed but portable facilities may be available
Ocean: Several parks will reopen on Saturday: Wells Mills County Park, Waretown, John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island, Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood, Ocean County Park and Lake Shenandoah County Park, both in Lakewood, Patriots County Park, Jackson Township, and Freedom Fields, Little Egg Harbor Township. The Ocean County Golf Course at Atlantis in Little Egg Harbor and Forge Pond County Golf Course in Brick will be reopened for play. And, the Barnegat Branch Trail, which starts at Burr Street in Barnegat and travels north toward Toms River, also will be open to the public.
Passaic: Preakness Valley Golf Course and county parks will be open. Golfing will be limited to two golfers at a time as opposed to the traditional four-some
Somerset: Some parks will be open with an announcement to come, according to parks commission spokesman Rich Reitman
Sussex: Newton Green, the county's only park, will be open, according to county administrator Gregpry Poff.
Union: Parks will reopen on Saturday with the county's two county golf courses open next week after routine maintenance is completed. All indoor facilities remain closed.
Warren: No decision announced.
The beach in Sandy Hook at the Gateway National Recreation Area is a federal property and will remain closed.