Hudson County-operated parks in Bayonne, Jersey City, North Bergen and Secaucus will reopen tomorrow following an order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Wednesday.
“After an excellent series of discussions with our local mayors informed by their health departments, we have come up with an initial limited re-opening schedule for the Hudson County Park System,” Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise said in a statement.
“I want to thank the mayors for their input and urge all our residents to fully cooperate with the limitations we will need them to follow in order to keep the parks open to them.”
Starting Saturday, the following parks will reopen between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily: Stephen R. Gregg Park in Bayonne, Lincoln Park in Jersey City, West Hudson Park in Kearny, James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen, and Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus.
All open parks will allow passive recreation only—no hoops will be returned to backboards on basketball courts, no open tennis or bocce courts will be open, and there will be no use of picnic areas until further notice.
Additionally, the track in Lincoln Park will be open, as will their dog run – as well as the dog run in Braddock Park – and all park bathrooms will remain closed until further notice.
Parking will be limited. All the lots in the re-opened parks will be limited to 50 percent capacity to encourage their use by local residents. All restrictions on street parking in the re-opened parks, such as the circle around the Lincoln Park Statue in Lincoln Park, will continue in place until further notice.
Furthermore, traffic through some parks will be limited and there will be no through traffic in Stephen R. Gregg Park. Also, Lincoln Park will be closed to traffic on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4p.m. and Monday thru Friday from 11 a.m. to 3p/m.
There will also be increased park attendant staffing, will additional Hudson County Sheriff’s Office patrols – in cooperation with local police – to enforce social distancing, DeGise’s office said.
If there is repeated, large-scale failure of social distancing rule compliance such as large gatherings or games, or a spike in new COVID-19 cases following this re-opening, re-closures could occur – a point that Murphy has made in recent days as well.
“Please remember you are being asked to wear a mask or to avoid creating large gatherings in the parks to protect not only yourself and your family—but also the brave nurses, doctors and EMT’s who are on the front lines of this health crisis and are at greater risk if we do not keep the flow of new cases on a downward slope,” the county executive added.
“We really need to act like adults right now as we take these first baby steps toward recovery. Please social distance and wear a mask.”
Murphy announced on Wednesday that state and county parks, along with golf courses, would have the option to reopen tomorrow at sunrise.
Still, half of the county’s mayors in Hoboken, Union City, North Bergen, Weehawken, Guttenberg, and West New York have indicated that they feel it’s still too early to reopen.
Therefore, for the time being, Columbus Park in Hoboken, Mercer Park in Jersey City, and Washington Park on the Union City and Jersey City border will remain closed.
Jersey City began reopening five of their parks under certain guidelines on Monday.