TRENTON, NJ - Senator Kip Bateman is calling for New Jersey to reopen State and county parks during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order shutting down the parks effective 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 to help ensure social distancing and to maximize the effort to minimize personal contact.

“As the weather gets nicer, people will want to get outdoors, especially after being cooped up at home for so long,” said Bateman (R-16). “In this time of uncertainty, we should encourage folks to go outside and explore their local park while practicing safe social distancing. With fresh air and exercise being so important to our physical health, mental health, and overall well-being,

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"I am calling for our parks to be reopened as soon as possible,” Bateman said.

“With the expanses of our parks closed, people will be more likely to cram into the few places where they can walk, run, and exercise,” added Bateman. “This is an avoidable public safety hazard. Individuals shouldn’t be forced to walk on our roadways.

“Allowing New Jersey families to go to local parks will help residents safely enjoy the great outdoors,” Bateman said.