Edison mayor closes municpal parks following state executive order to close state and county parks

An uplifting message of "love" left on the pedestrian bridge of the Middlesex County Greenway, which spans Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge. 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. PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHY CHANG/STAFF
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An uplifting message of "love" left on the pedestrian bridge of the Middlesex County Greenway, which spans Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge. 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. PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHY CHANG/STAFF

EDISON – All 31 parks, Dismal Swamp and the municipal boat basin in the township will close in continued efforts to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

In concurrence with Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order to close all state and county parks and forests effective sunrise April 8 until further notice, Mayor Thomas Lankey made the decision to closes municipal parks as well in an Edison Emergency Declaration.

State officials left the closure of municipal parks to the discretion of local officials.

The declaration states “all parks, playground equipment, sports fixtures, skate parks, and the municipal boat ramp/basin in Edison Township will be closed for public use.”

Edison has three county parks: Thomas A. Edison Park; Roosevelt Park; and the Middlesex County Greenway, which spans Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge as well as the Dismal Swamp area.

Municipal parks include Beatrice Parkway; Bernard L. Dwyer Park; Blossom/Ellmyer Parks; Crestwood Ballfield; Dudash Park; Edison Woods Park; Gateway Park; Hale Park; Health Center – Idlewild; Inman Avenue Park; Kilmer Park; Lindquist Park; Minnie B. Veal/Elder Park; Nevsky Park; North Edison Park; North Eighth Tennis Courts; Oak Tree Pond; Oak Tree Tennis Courts; Old Post Park; Papaianni (Lake); Paterniti Park; Polansky Park; Portland Street Tennis Courts; Schenkmeyer Park; Shamrock Park; Stelton Community Center/Park; Stephen J. Capestro Park; Thomas Swales/Edison Commons; Winter Street Park; and Yelencsics Park.

“I continue to be exceptionally proud of the great lengths Edison residents have gone to in order to help protect themselves, their friends and their families,” Lankey said in a statement. “We need to continue listening to the instructions coming from Gov. Murphy and our state and county leaders so that we can fight this awful virus and flatten the curve to get back to some sense of normalcy. We are following the governor’s recently signed Executive Order and will be closing every park in Edison beginning tomorrow morning to try and increase the positive benefits on display from aggressively social distancing.”

Further, Lankey said, “Our emergency responders are already stretched thin answering the call to protect our community in the midst of this pandemic, so I am asking everyone to respect the fact that these parks will be closed until further notice.

“There will be no exceptions, every park will be closed for every person,” he said. “Please do not force our police to expend unnecessary resources in having to enforce this temporary directive. Now, more than ever, we need the full cooperation of Edison residents as we continue to fight through these unprecedented times.”