Following yesterday’s announcement from NJ Gov. Murphy regarding a six-point plan for the future reopening of New Jersey, now a coalition of North Hudson County mayors has come together to announce the “eventual reopening of municipal parks.” Here’s what you need to know:
In a press release issued on Tuesday, April 28th, Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced that he along with Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez of West New York, Mayor Nicholas Sacco of North Bergen, Mayor Brian P. Stack of Union City, Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken and Mayor Wayne Zitt of Guttenberg have come to an agreement regarding a regional and collaborative approach for the gradual reopening of municipal parks.
“As we consider an eventual re-opening of our municipal parks, we do so knowing that North Hudson County is perhaps the most densely populated region in the nation,” said the North Hudson Mayors via the press release. “With this in mind, it is absolutely critical for us, as mayors, to work together to ensure that any reopening of parks is driven by science and data and protects the health and safety of our residents.
They continued, “Acting as one collaborative group in our approach ensures that no park is unintentionally attracting additional residents of surrounding municipalities due to conflicting rules and regulations. This will allow our cities to take a cautious and deliberative approach that prevents the unintended spread of COVID-19, while promoting social distancing to the greatest extent possible.”
For now, the municipal and county parks within each of these six municipalities will remain closed, along with all playgrounds.
The Bigger Picture
Parks and open space in densely populated cities are important for both mental + physical health. We are better off having a controlled environment with parks open than pretending people will sit in their homes for eternity w/no progress. We need to protect health first but pic.twitter.com/JcjSlodJ9G
— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) April 26, 2020
This news comes just days after Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop shared on a Facebook Live and on his Twitter on Saturday, April 25th that parks in JC would begin to reopen and the city would be taking steps back to normalcy on this past Monday, April 27th.
“Parks and open space in densely populated cities are important for both mental + physical health. We are better off having a controlled environment with parks open than pretending people will sit in their homes for eternity w/no progress,” he shared on Twitter. ”
The parks will be open from “dawn to dusk daily,” according to new signage. For now, the city will not be opening dog runs or playgrounds.
Statewide Opening of State Parks on May 2nd
Statewide, on Saturday, May 2nd, Gov. Murphy will allow for the reopening of New Jersey’s state parks and the reopening of golf courses and county parks, he tweeted. “County governments will regain the authority to decide if the parks stay open or closed,” he then further explained in a press conference on April 29th.
Social distancing orders, however, will remain in place indefinitely until the state sees a “sustained reduction in tests and cases,” according to Gov. Murphy.
Of course, this news is subject to change as more developments become available and news regarding COVID-19 progresses. For now, however, it remains that countywide, Hudson County has 14,309 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 5,144 in Jersey City and 473 in Hoboken.
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