Posted Tuesday, April 7th, 2020
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has issued Executive Order 118 ordering the closure of all county and state parks and forests due to the COVID-19 crisis as of 8 p.m. today. Murphy said the parks and forests were too often becoming gathering places where social distancing is not being observed.
This order impacts the Morris County Park Commission and all of its parks, trails, campsites, historic sites, and facilities. The Morris County park system is the state’s largest county park system. However, boating still is allowed on lakes, such as Lake Hopatcong, but not for party or charter boats.
“My Administration’s top priority is to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 cases, so we do not create a surge within our health care systems and overwhelm the health care professionals who are managing our response on the frontlines,” said Governor Murphy.
“We have seen far too many instances in our parks where people are gathering and socializing in groups and by closing these areas, we are further limiting public interactions to only the most essential purposes.
“Data shows that our aggressive efforts to flatten the curve are beginning to make a difference; however, we must continue our push to flatten it to the point where our day-over-day increase is zero.”
Under Executive Order 108, municipalities still have the authority to keep municipal parks open or closed.
All county and state residents still are allowed to go outside for exercise but the Governor has asked residents to stay close to home and abide by social distancing rules.