BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Union County parks will partially re-open beginning at dawn tomorrow (Saturday, May 2) for limited and passive activities only, according to an Executive Order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday.

State parks and golf courses can also reopen with restrictions. The County’s two golf courses will open next week, after routine maintenance is conducted. However, all group activities and any activity that does not allow for proper social distancing is NOT allowed. 

Gov. Murphy stressed that New Jersey residents will need to continue practicing social distancing, and he strongly encouraged them to wear some type of face covering when visiting the parks if social distancing is difficult to maintain. The parking lots of these parks will be allowed to reach only 50% capacity. Picnics and team sports are still not permitted.

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The following facilities remain closed until further notice:
Picnic areas
Athletic fields
Playgrounds and exercise stations
Trailside Nature & Science Center
Warinanco Sports Center
Watchung Stable
Echo Lake and Warinanco dog parks
Visitor centers
Interior historical sites

What’s a Passive Activity?
A passive activity is essentially anything you can do that does not require another person: fishing, hunting, boating, canoeing, hiking, walking, running or jogging, biking, birding, and horseback riding.

This does NOT include:
Any type of group activity or sport (soccer, basketball, lacrosse, group running,
Gathering on fields
Any type of game
Or similar activities with others

Here in Berkeley Heights…
Fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball and pickleball courts will remain closed. Passaic, Horseshoe, Sansone, and Snyder fields will be closed, along with the Snyder parking lot. Trails are open for walking, running and biking. 

As it pertains to Berkeley Heights Public Schools outdoor facilities, the only areas that will reopen on May 2nd are the track at Governor Livingston High School and the walking path near the Lower Columbia Fields. The turf field and athletic fields on the High School property remain CLOSED, the basketball courts, tennis courts, fields and playground at Columbia remain CLOSED.  We ask that residents respect the order and not use these unopened spaces even as access to them becomes more accessible. We can only reopen the track and walking path with these restrictions in place. If residents violate the restrictions, we will be forced to close these areas again. As a reminder, all group activities and any activity that does not allow for proper social distancing is not allowed. 

In spaces that are open for use, everyone needs to properly social distance, except if you are with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
We encourage everyone to follow the rules regarding social distancing, masks, and permitted activities, so as to give confidence to local, county and state governments that more spaces can slowly reopen. Thank you for your cooperation. Enjoy the beautiful weekend!