TRENTON, NJ – Governor Murphy just announced the reopening of all state parks, golf course and county parks as of May 2nd. Although his authority will automatically open the state park facilities, the decision to reopen county parks will be in the hands of county authorities. Enter Ocean County Freeholder Virginia Haines, 85, who arbitrarily closed Ocean County’s vast park system last month after Orthodox Jews were reported congregating at the Mantoloking Bay Bridge Park in Brick.
Haines decided days after closing that park to close all parks across the board. The fight to reopen parks was led by the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance and a bi-partisan effort in Trenton. Shore News Network has also promoted the reopening of parks since the day they were closed. This morning New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney backed the reopening of parks in New Jersey, which could have been the political trigger needed by Murphy to succumb to the pressure mounting against him.
“The NJOA and our members and supporters thank Senate President Sweeney for showing leadership on this issue and joining our calls to re-open the state’s parks and forests without delay.” said NJOA spokesman Cody McLaughlin, “As much as I’m sure Governor Murphy would like to write it off, this is not a partisan issue and we are not going away. We’ll continue fighting for outdoor recreation access in this state.”
The reopening of municipal parks will be at the discretion of local mayors and township authorities.