Ocean County Press Release
OCEAN COUNTY WILL reopen on July 2 the spray park at the John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island along with the playgrounds located at 14 other Ocean County parks.
"I am happy to announce the reopening of these popular attractions at our Ocean County Parks to visitors," said Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines, who serves as chairwoman of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation. "We will continue to have restrictions in place as per Governor Murphy's executive order.
"It's important for all of us to continue to do our part in curtailing the spread of the coronavirus even while enjoying the outdoors at the spray park and the playgrounds," Haines said.
As of Sunday, June 28, Ocean County had 9,570 reported cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March.
The spray park at the John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park in Berkeley Township will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Park employees will be on site to monitor and assist with the number of patrons using the spray park at one time.
"It's important to observe social distancing rules and to wear a mask when using these facilities and especially when you are around other people," Haines said. "The spray park and the playgrounds are very popular with our residents and visitors, particularly children, and while we want the experience to be enjoyable it's imperative that it's also safe for everyone including park department staff."
The spray park will have one way in and out and there will be time limits in order to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the spray park.
All park equipment at the spray park and at the playgrounds will be sanitized daily.
"Patrons should bring hand sanitizer with them to use before and after playground use," Haines suggested. "There also will be no food, drink or toys permitted.
"Taking simple precautions will keep everyone safe," Haines said.
Ocean County began to gradually reopen its parks beginning May 2 following guidelines from the state and health experts. By May 22 all Ocean County parks, including off-leash dog parks, had been reopened to the public.
Bathroom facilities are available at all County park sites and visitors using them must be wearing a face covering. Face coverings are strongly recommended when accessing the dog parks at Ocean County Airpark in Berkeley Township and Ocean County Park, Lakewood and all of the parks in the county system.
Haines noted that Ocean County continues to adjust the restrictions at its parks and golf courses as time goes on and at the direction of health experts and the state.
"We are pleased to be opening our playgrounds and spray park so our residents can enjoy them all again," Haines said. "Each of our parks offers unique features and a great opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty Ocean County has to offer."
The nature centers at Cattus Island County Park, Toms River, Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood and Wells Mills County Park, Waretown, remain closed to the public.
Ocean County closed its parks and natural lands to the public on March 31 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and based on the mandates from President Trump and Gov. Murphy for social distancing and stay at home orders.
"We want everyone to enjoy our parks and natural lands safely," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "The health and safety of our residents and visitors is paramount. It's important that we continue to follow social distancing rules and use face masks. We all need to remember that our actions don't affect just us, they affect our family, they affect our health care workers, they affect our emergency responders, they affect the workers at our grocery stores."
"We need to continue to do our part to stop the spread of this virus," Vicari said.