BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – It’s been a little known secret during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the municipal parks and beaches in Berkeley Township never fully closed. While Mayor Amato did shut down bathrooms and playgrounds at the direction of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order.
This week, Amato says all Berkeley Township Parks will be fully opened beginning Saturday, but stresses social distancing is a must. He also announced drive-in movies are on the schedule for Veterans Park
“Everyone has been extremely patient during this pandemic, as we all work together to help “flatten the curve,” Mayor Amato said.
Berkeley was one community in New Jersey that didn’t close township parks and beaches. The town’s parks remained open for passive recreation. Although they never closed throughout this pandemic, our bathroom and playground equipment were closed for safety reasons.
“Now that the weather is breaking, township residents are eager to get out and enjoy all that our parks have to offer. Beginning this Saturday, in addition to passive recreation, all of our amenities will be open. Our playgrounds, skate park, tennis courts, athletic fields and restrooms will be opened with some restrictions. Residents that visit our parks or use our fields will have to adhere to the Governor’s Executive Orders,” Mayor Amato stated.
The playgrounds and restrooms will be open and sanitized on a regular basis. Residents will be able to make their own decisions regarding the use of them. Basketball courts are open for shooting baskets only. No organized or pick-up games will be allowed. Tennis will be limited to singles only.
Field use is available on a first come, first served basis.
Consistent with Paragraph 3 of Executive Order No. 107, participants must practice social distancing and stay six feet apart; No organized or contact activities or sports shall be allowed; and Consistent with Paragraph 5 of Executive Order No. 107 gatherings of individuals, including in parks, are prohibited.
“I am so very proud of all Berkeley Township residents and our employees for the cooperation and strength they have shown throughout this crisis. We have all operated within the governor’s parameters, while at the same time, understanding that people need fresh air and sunshine. We never had an issue with social distancing in our parks and I believe our residents and visitors will continue in the same respectful manner,” said Mayor Amato.
Yesterday, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 142, which allows for gatherings at which individuals remain in their closed vehicles.
“Berkeley Township is planning on three outdoor drive-in movies at Veterans Park. The first drive-in movie will be Saturday, June 6th. Due to space limitations, residents MUST register in advance, and will be a first come, first served basis, open to Berkeley Township residents only. Families will have an opportunity to vote on which movie will be shown, through the town’s Facebook page beginning on Monday,” Mayor Amato said.