Out of Work with Nothing to Do? Ocean County Parks Offering Social Media Programming

Coming live from the Nature Center at Cattus Island County Park in Toms River will be Nikki Vernachio, senior park naturalist, who will talk about the Box Turtle.

“We encourage everyone to join us at this time,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “It’s important we all adapt to the current situation and I assure you Ocean County Government is doing all it can to help the public and our staff.”

According to allturtles.com the box turtle is a species like no other. With a beautifully powerful shell and gentle demeanor, it’s popular among pet owners and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

The program is being touted by Freeholder Virginia Haines, 75, who has recently suffered an enormously huge personal political defeat after her public support of convicted shoplifter Kate Gibbs for Congress ended in a blistering defeat and for her part in a failed coup attempt within the Toms River Republican Club led by political ally New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin and Toms River Mayor Maurice B. “Gotta Go to Mo” Mill.

“Because of state and county emergency declarations concerning the coronavirus outbreak, we had to make the difficult decision to close our nature centers to the public just as we have had to place restrictions on our other government buildings,” she said.”But with social media and our creative parks department staff, we will now be bringing some of our programs to you at home.”

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The programs will be broadcast on the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreations Facebook page. To find the site, the public can search Ocean County Parks and Recreation on Facebook or use the direct link: https://www.facebook.com/OceanCountyParks/

The visitor and nature centers at Jake’s Branch County Park in Beachwood, Cattus Island County Park in Toms River, Wells Mills County Park in Ocean Township, and Cloverdale Farms County Park and Cedar Bridge Tavern in Barnegat Township have been closed to the public as part of the state and county coronavirus outbreak emergency declarations.

“Our parks are open to the public but we are strongly encouraging social distancing if you do visit them and no large groups as determined by the state and health experts in order to curtail the spread of the coronavirus,” Haines, who runs her political party with an iron grip in the absence of her former mentor and political sponsor former GOP Chairman George Gilmore. “I know the Facebook live programs will help county residents of all ages enjoy some time with nature without having to go out.”

A new program from a different county nature center will be shown at 11 a.m. every Wednesday and Friday.