HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - New Jersey's state parks and county parks re-opened at sunrise Saturday, but privately-owned Duke Farms will remain closed to the public.
Gov. Phil Murphy last week rescinded an executive order issued three weeks ago shutting all state and country parks and golf courses in an effort to impede the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) through social contact.
With more than 1,000 acres dedicated to trails, bike paths, hands-on nature programs, educational exhibits, woodlands and waterways, Duke Farms, once home to billionaire heiress Doris Duke attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the expansive property off Route 206 annually.
The notice reads:
"Update regarding COVID- 19: Property Closure
Visiting Duke Farms
Duke Farms is a private, nonprofit foundation and is not included in this weekend's reopening of State and County managed parks.
We will continue to be closed until further notice and look forward to an eventual, and cautious reopening. When we do reopen, the information will be posted here, the front page of our website, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Please follow us on our platforms to receive updates when they happen."
Duke Farms has been able to compensate for the closure with long-running online educational programs that continue; several are interactive and designed for teachers and students, with the emphasis on preservation and sustainability.
The most popular interactive link is the "EagleCam" which receives millions of visits each year; however, the Live Stream link is not working. A gusty rain storm that hit central New Jersey late last week knocked down the wires that enable the Duke staff to monitor and live stream the activity in an Eagle's nest high atop a Sycamore tree within the nature preserve. Visit the "EagleCam" site at: http://dukefarms/eaglecam. Efforts are under way to restore the link.http://dukefarms/eaglecam.org