The City of Jersey City will reopen four more parks next week after initially opening five on Monday, also releasing more details on how the farmers’ markets will operate.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Our farmers’ markets are a vital source of nutritious food for many of our residents, and is one of the safest ways for people to get food and support our local economy,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“These are some of the small, but discernible steps towards approaching a sense of safe normalcy while we still adhere to all the recommended public safeguards to halt the spread of coronavirus.”
The farmers’ markets, all open-air distributors of fresh produce and goods, are monitored and licensed by the city’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Every year, all eight markets provide fresh produce and locally grown products to residents in every corner of the city.
The Paulus Hook market will be the first to open on May 9th, followed by the Grove Street market on May 11th with additional sites to follow.
Each market will be mandated to abide by social distancing protocols. Customers will not be allowed to pick their own produce, but can give their verbal shopping list to market staff to pick out or use the market’s pre-order service for easier pickup.
Returning the markets comes just one week after the city successfully reopened five parks citywide where, again, social distancing measures are mandated and only non-contact, passive recreation is permitted.
The four additional parks listed below will also reopen this week are Columbia Park, Mary Benson Park, Arlington Park, and Ercel Webb Park.
Following the successful reopening of the parks with regulations in place, the city will similarly offer each farmers’ market the tools to manage costs, provide sanitation stations, and supply clean food for people in need.
“We’re working with the farmers and our neighborhood organizations to be able to open the farmers’ market as we do every year, which is a tactic we’ve expanded in recent years to enhance healthy food access that is traditionally lacking in urban settings,” added Director of Health and Human Services Stacey Flanagan.
“We’re making sure we are putting in place the health and safety measures needed as we slowly reopen these critical parts of our city.”
Additionally, to provide healthy food choices in a health-conscious setting, city officials are discouraging more than one shopper per household as well as prepared foods and music to allow for swift shopping with a focus on the essentials at this time.
Marketers are also required to wear face coverings and gloves while maintaining social distancing.
Earlier today, five Hudson County parks opened, while municipal parks in Hoboken, Union City, North Bergen, Weehawken, West New York and Guttenberg remain closed until further notice – though James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen was one of the county parks that reopened today.