SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – At a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy gave the green light for New Jersey’s state and county parks, along with golf courses, to reopen, effective this Saturday. The decision to close local parks was left up to the municipality and, in South Plainfield, all borough parks, which were also closed last month, will reopen to the public, beginning tomorrow.

Park visitors, according to the governor, will be allowed to run, hike, bike, fish and kayak – where applicable – however, restrooms, picnic areas, playgrounds, and visitor centers will remain closed. Although Murphy did not mandate park visitors to wear masks or other forms of face coverings, he did ‘strongly recommend’ that they be used.

The April 7 closing of the parks came on the heels of state and county park staff noticing a large influx of patrons not adhering to social distancing guidelines along with an increase in out-of-state visitors; at that time, the decision to close local parks rested with each municipality and, in South Plainfield, all parks also closed.

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While other states have been preparing to ease their stay-at-home restrictions in May, Murphy said on Tuesday that New Jersey is ‘weeks away’ from reopening and stressed that park visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines, warning that state and county parks will be closed once again if visitors do not follow social distancing guidelines.

In South Plainfield, Cotton Street Park, Walnut Street Park, Shadyside Park, Veterans Memorial Park, Putnam Park, Willow Park, and Pitt Street Park along with the Southside Dog Park are scheduled to reopen tomorrow, Friday, May 1, at dawn. Spring Lake Park, a county park, will reopen Saturday, May 2, also at dawn. Additionally, the Metuchen-Edison Community Dog Park will also be reopened.

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