Liberty State Park in Jersey City and James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen are two Hudson County landmarks that will close after Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order closing all parks and forrest run by the county or state.
By Corey McDonald/Hudson County View
“We’ve seen far too many instances in our parks where people are gathering and socializing in groups,” he said, adding the initiative was intended to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 cases.
BREAKING: To further social distancing, Iâ€™m signing an Executive Order closing ALL:
ðŸžï¸State parks and forests
Weâ€™ve seen far too many instances in our parks where people are gathering and socializing in groups. We need to #FlattenTheCurve.
â€” Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 7, 2020
“I do not take this action lightly. Some of my fondest memories with my own children are beautiful spring days in parks playing soccer and enjoying our family,” he said during a Trenton press conference today.
“But my focus, and my sole mission in life right now, is the health of every New Jersey family.”
Liberty State Park is one of the largest state parks in the state; hundreds of people visit the more than 1,200 acre park every day.
“As important as our urban open space park always is to people’s spiritual, mental and physical health, we must all fully respect Governor Murphy’s life and death decision-making,” President of the Friends of Liberty State Park Sam Pesin said.
“As the Governor asserted, we’re all in this together. We all long for the end of this sad and stressful time in NJ and human history.”
Board of Chosen Freeholders Chair Anthony Vainieri (D-8) posted on Facebook that Braddock Park would close this evening, with only the Boulevard East portion will remain open to traffic.
“Due to the Governors Executive Order to close all State and County Parks, effective tonight, Braddock Park will be closed until further notice,” he wrote.
“All park roads will be closed to traffic Blvd East section will remain open as that is not a park road. Only emergency vehicles will be allowed to enter. Please stay home and stay safe. God Bless.”
While local parks remain under the jurisdiction of the municipality, a number of Hudson County governments have already previously moved to shutter those facilities – such as Jersey City and Hoboken.
The move comes as the state continues to see a rise in positive cases and fatalities resulting the COVID-19 virus.
Murphy today said that there are now 44,416 positive coronavirus cases in the state, while 1,232 New Jersey residents have died due to complications from the virus.
Follow Corey McDonald on Twitter @cwmcdonald_