To limit the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure social distancing, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) closed all state parks and forests effective 8 p.m. on April 7.
Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said the state parks and forests will remain closed until further notice as required by Executive Order 118, signed on April 7 by Gov. Phil Murphy.
Law enforcement, including New Jersey State Police, State Park Police and Conservation Police, will enforce this order at parks, forests and among boaters on state open waters to ensure compliance with social distancing mandates.
“We regret very much that it has become necessary to close our state parks and forests at this time,” McCabe said in a prepared statement. “This is not a decision that DEP makes lightly. We understand that New Jerseyans particularly need fresh air and exercise during this stressful time, but as the weather warms, our parks are becoming crowded and it is difficult in many places to observe the social distancing that is so critical to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.”
“Now more than ever, we need to redouble our efforts to flatten the curve, as the governor has urged us daily. The DEP urges all New Jersey residents to cooperate with this direction, to protect themselves, their families, and all our communities. State Park Police will actively patrol to enforce these closures, and fines will be assessed where people failure to comply. We look forward to welcoming you all back as soon as conditions are improved enough to allow safe use of the parks,” she said in the statement.
This closure applies to all lands within New Jersey’s state parks and forests which will remain closed until further notice.
These closures will be strictly enforced. State Park Police can be reached via the 24-hour dispatch center at 1-877-WARN-DEP (1-877-927-6337).
Visit www.njparksandforests.org for information about state parks.
Follow New Jersey State Parks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newjerseystateparks
Visit covid19.nj.gov/ or call 211 to learn more about COVID-19 in New Jersey. Residents can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to subscribe to text message updates on NJ COVID-19.