MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – The Morris County Park Commission issued an update Friday on the previously posted response to COVID-19’s impact on park activities.
As concerns about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continue to grip our community, the Park Commission understands the power of parks, trails and open spaces as essential resources for health and wellness, and are balancing that with the health and wellness of park patrons and park staff.
We know that parks provide a connection to the outdoors and green space as well as opportunities for physical activity which studies demonstrate reduces stress and improves mental health.
To allow general purpose parks, trails, golf courses and some recreation and open space areas to remain open, we need you to follow proper CDC protocol and behavior modifications.
CLOSED THROUGH MARCH 31 (with closures likely to be extended):
- All indoor facilities, including Visitor Centers
- Public Restrooms, Environmental Education Centers Mennen Sports Arena
- Park Commission Headquarters at the Cultural Center have been closed to the public
Frelinghuysen Arboretum and Willowwood Arboretum will close at the end of the day today, March 20.
All playgrounds and playing fields, including; softball, artificial turf fields, volleyball courts, etc… all closed immediately as per the March 19 Morris County Emergency Declaration.
Dog Parks (off-leash areas) at Central Park of Morris County and Lewis Morris County Park are closed immediately. Dogs are only permitted on-leash outside of dog parks as per Park Commission Rules & Regulations, and dog waste must be picked up and removed from parkland.
Seaton Hackney Stables is closed immediately as per the March 19 Morris County Declaration of Emergency.
Mahlon Dickerson Reservation & Lewis Morris County Park Campgrounds are closed.
Programs: All indoor/outdoor programs have been cancelled. The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum sponsored programs at Frelinghuysen Arboretum have been cancelled through April. The Willowwood Foundation has cancelled the April 26 Tubbs Lecture and the May 17 Lilac Party.
Lee’s County Park Marina will remain open at this time
Environmental Education Centers: Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center — grounds and trails remain open.
Golf Courses will remain open, with the following rules:
- Only accepting on-line bookings and transactions;
- Food & Beverage operations are closed;
- Golf carts only permitted at Berkshire Valley Golf Course;
- Guests advised to bring personal hygiene materials for us in Port a Johns;
- Anticipate additional cleaning of all touchpoint areas throughout the day such as door handles, countertops, etc…
Rentals/Park Permits: All facility rentals are cancelled.
Permit events: All permit events are cancelled.
While parks grounds and trails are open, residents are asked to:
- Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting virus symptoms.
- Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails.
- Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space.
- Understand that public restrooms are not available but some sites may have portable restrooms (please bring personal sanitary supplies for yourself).
- While on trails, warn other users of your presence and as they pass, and step aside to let others pass.
Follow Morris County Declaration of Emergency order which has:
- Closed playgrounds and playing fields
- Restricted organized or directed activity in the parks
- Restricts groups size to four individuals(other than family members)
The Park Commission will continue to assess daily our operations and consult with the various health management institutions for recommendations and possible further changes. We will keep you informed of any necessary changes to our programs. We appreciate your support and understanding as we adapt to this fluid situation.