OCEAN COUNTY will gradually reopen its parks for passive recreation along with its golf courses starting Saturday, May 2, according to Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines, Chairwoman of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation.

“I am pleased to announce the reopening of several of our County parks starting Saturday. This includes our two golf courses and our natural lands,” Haines said. “There will be restrictions in place as we go forward to maintain social distancing. These restrictions are for the health and safety of everyone returning to our parks and open spaces. “These locations are open to the public for walking, jogging, biking,” Haines said. “It’s all passive recreation which allows for social distancing.

“It’s important to note that this action in no way means the coronavirus pandemic is over,” she said. “Rather we want to provide safe and large open spaces for our residents to spend time outside, especially with warm weather coming, and these steps will allow that.”

“It’s important that we continue to follow social distancing rules. 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,” Vicari said. “We need to all continue to do our part to stop the spread of this virus.”

Parks that are scheduled to reopen on May 2 are Wells Mills County Park, Waretown, John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island, Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood, Ocean County Park and Lake Shenandoah County Park, Lakewood, Patriots County Park, Jackson, and Freedom Fields, Little Egg Harbor Township. The Ocean County Golf Course at Atlantis, in Little Egg Harbor Township and Forge Pond County Golf Course in Brick Township will reopen for play. In addition, the Barnegat Branch Trail which starts at Burr Street in Barnegat Township and travels north toward Toms River will also open to the public.

For further details for park and golf course hours please visit: http://www.ocean.nj.us/home2.aspx