MORRIS COUNTY PARK COMMISSION’S RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS(COVID-19)Tuesday, March 17, 2020
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ – With the evolving situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Park Commission would like to provide an update and information for our park patrons. As of today, there have been no cases with known association to COVID-19 with parks and programs of the Morris County Park Commission.
As ever, the health and safety of our park patrons, volunteers, staff, and community are our top priority. Over the past several weeks, the Morris County Park Commission has been working closely with the Morris County Department of Health Management and Morris County Office of Law and Public Safety to develop a measured approach that will keep staff and park patrons safe with regards to the COVID-19 coronavirus. We are also closely monitoring the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and New Jersey Department of Health Advisories. As this is a quickly evolving situation, we encourage you to begin visiting our website (morrisparks.net) and follow our social media outlets (@MorrisParksNJ) for the latest information on program cancellations and park closures. The Park Commission shares your concern about this issue and will continue to align our policies and procedures with the latest recommended preventative measures.
Starting today, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 the Park Commission will be conforming to Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 104 related to non-essential recreational entities, occupancy/gatherings of less than 50 people and hours of operation between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. With over 20,000-acres of parkland, 38 distinct park facilities and 4,400,000 million visitors per year we are taking the conservative approach of limiting access to park facilities because we cannot ensure the high level of disinfection and sanitizing across the park system.
- The Grounds of all General Parks & Trails will remain open
- It should be understood that playgrounds, benches, picnic tables, etc. are not be disinfected
- All indoor/outdoor programs throughout the park system to be cancelled thru March 31, 2020
- All park permits throughout the park system are being rescinded thru March 31, 2020
- All buildings (except golf courses at this time) will be closed the public including;
- Park restrooms (there are still portable restroom facilities in most of the parks due to winter closures; please bring personal sanitary supplies)
- Visitor Centers
- Mennen Sports Arena
- Park Commission HQ at the Cultural Center, please call ahead with deliveries, etc.
- All Historic Sites; Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Historic Speedwell and Cooper Gristmill are closed for winter season until April 4, any special events or programs planned for the off-season are cancelled
- Mennen Sports Arena will be closed thru March 31, 2020
- Lee’s County Park Marina will remain open at this time
- Horticulture Facilities; Bamboo Brook Gardens, The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Willowwood Arboretum
- The Grounds & Trails will remain open but there is a potential that The Frelinghuysen Arboretum will close
- Environmental Education Centers; Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, Elizabeth D. Kay Environmental Center
- Grounds & Trails will remain open
- Golf Courses will remain open and Billy Casper Golf is implementing a number of protocols including but not limited to the following;
- 1) Moving from accepting cash to “credit card only” transactions.
- 2) Food & Beverage operations are closed.
- 3) Allowing golfers that ride in carts to take their own car if desired and available. If walking only is desired that is fine too.
- 4) Posting signs on Port a Johns advising guest to use personal hygiene materials.
- 5) Additional cleaning of all touchpoint areas throughout the day such as door handles, countertops, etc.
- For list of all parks and facilities visit the website.
We know that you rely on your county parks which will ever more become important places for you and your families to reduce the stresses of today’s environment. When visiting the parks we also strongly encourage you to adhere to CDC protocols especially as it relates to social distancing, please take everyday actions to prevent the spread of germs.
We will continue to assess our operations daily and consult with the various Health Management institutions for recommendations and possible further changes. We will keep you informed of any necessary changes to our programs. We appreciate your support and understanding as we adapt to this fluid situation. For further information and updates on cancellations and facility closures, please visitmorrisparks.net. If you have any questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the Morris County Office of Health Management website for information, on COVID-19: http://health.morriscountynj.gov.