PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Assemblyman Jay Webber compared the stark contrast between the policies of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, along with other Northeast governors, and Gov. Phil Murphy on utilizing state parks for safe and healthy recreation during the Covid-19 crisis.
“It is sadly ironic that the Garden State is the only state in the entire region to completely close its parks and forests,” said Webber (R-Morris). “New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Massachusetts all are keeping their state and county parks open with reasonable restrictions so residents can get fresh air, sunlight and exercise to maintain physical and mental health. Governors Cuomo, Lamont, Wolf, Carney, and Baker get it.”
Webber noted that those administrations have figured out practical mitigation strategies and simply implemented them to keep their parks open, while the Murphy administration still refuses to do so.
Wednesday, Cuomo even reminded Empire State residents of their right to use public parks in his daily press conference and encouraged residents to get out for walks. New York is not only recognizing the public right to use parks, but is also waiving fees for state, county and local parks to encourage residents to use them.
“This is not that difficult,” continued Webber. “New Jersey officials should call any one of their peers in neighboring states to learn how to keep the parks open. Or, they can just go to the park websites of other states in the region where reasonable restrictions on park use is described. Any way it gets it done, the Murphy administration needs to re-open parks immediately.”
Webber began an online petition asking Murphy to re-open state parks. The petition has gathered over 33,000 likes and almost 11,000 signatures to date.