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Some Morris County parks, trails, golf courses and gardens re-opening

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – The Morris County Park Commission will have a partial reopening of its 38 distinct park facilities on Saturday thanks to an order issued today by Gov. Phil Murphy, who reopened state parks and allowed county parks to also reopen, but only if they can allow for proper social distancing.

In Morris County, many trails and grounds of county parks managed by the Morris County Park Commission will reopen, including all four county golf courses.

“The Morris County Park Commission understands the importance of providing access to your parks but is also responsible for the safety of park staff and patrons along the stewardship responsibility of protecting the natural, cultural and historic resources under its care,” Park Commission Executive Director Dave Helmer said.

“Please do your best when accessing these important resources to respect your fellow park visitor and park resources you are enjoying,” Helmer said.

Parks & Trails may be closed for periods of time for park maintenance and park project purposes without announcement.

PARKS & FACILITIES REMAINING CLOSED:

All parks, grounds, and trails will be opened (but may have reduced parking) except for:

  • Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center parking lot, grounds and trails will be closed. Due to the nature of the trail system including a raised boardwalk, narrow trails, and sensitive natural environment, it is difficult to maintain a six-foot distance between trail users;
  • Central Park of Morris County-Ice Pond/Disc Golf Course parking area will be closed but the trails will remain open;
  • Seaton Hackney Stables will reopen in the near future once a standard operating procedure is developed by concessionaire for the county’s equestrian facility;
  • Lee’s Marina will maintain its current operational parameters that can be found at morrisparks.net enough overflow parking as available at that time the Commission will consider allowing a maximum of 25 prepaid daily launches per day;

CLOSED

  • Frelinghuysen Arboretum except for the Community Gardens;
  • Willowwood Arboretum;
  • Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center and Gardens;
  • Fosterfields Living Historical Farm;
  • Historic Speedwell;
  • Cooper Mill although parking area will remain open for trail access;
  • Mahlon Dickerson Reservation campgropunds;
  • Lewis Morris County Park;
  • Mennen Sports Arena.
  • All public buildings & restrooms, playgrounds, athletic fields & play areas, picnic shelters/tents remain closed.

All programs, permits, and events remain canceled at this time through May 31, 2020.

Please Practice Social Distancing at County Parks and on Trails

While the Commission is delighted to be allowed to let park patrons have access to their parks again, patrons must understand there are restrictions in place and social distancing is required to visit Morris County parks, facilities and trails.

To allow various parks and trails to remain open for passive recreation, patrons are asked to follow proper CDC protocol and behavior modifications, including but not limited to:

  • Recommended use of face covering;
  • Only park in designated parking areas, do not park on roadsides;
  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails;
  • 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 step aside to let others pass;
  • 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.

Continue to consult local and state health management websites, including the Morris County Office of Health Management website for information, on COVID-19.

For more information, visit the Morris County Park Commission’s website or the Park Commission Facebook page.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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