Berkeley Mayor announces full opening of parks, drive-in movie date
Warm weather is certainly here and restrictions are beginning to ease across the state which means the opening of parks, beaches, boardwalks and other Shore summer venues can open or will do so on May 22.
In Berkeley Township, Mayor Carmen Amato announced in a statement provided to WOBM News Saturday morning that all their parks will be fully opened today but urges social distancing to help flatten the curve.
As of Saturday morning Berkeley Township has had 540 positive Covid-19 cases to date and 71 deaths, according to the Ocean County Health Department.
While many beaches and parks across the Shore voluntarily or were asked to close, the White Sands Beach and other beachfronts in Berkeley Township have remained open for passive recreation.
The bathrooms and playground equipment in Berkeley was off limits though.
"Now that the weather is breaking, township residents are eager to get out and enjoy all that our parks have to offer. Beginning today, in addition to passive recreation, all of our amenities will be open. Our playgrounds, skate park, tennis courts, athletic fields and restrooms will be opened with some restrictions. Residents that visit our parks or use our fields will have to adhere to the Governor's Executive Orders," Mayor Amato said.
Amato said that the playgrounds and restrooms will be open and sanitized on a regular basis and residents will be able to make their own decisions regarding the use of them.
Basketball courts are open for shooting baskets only, no organized or pick-up games will be allowed and tennis will be limited to singles only.
Field use is available on a first come, first served basis.
Amato said that everyone must practice social distancing and stay six feet apart.
"I am so very proud of all Berkeley Township residents and our employees for the cooperation and strength they have shown throughout this crisis. We have all operated within the governor’s parameters, while at the same time, understanding that people need fresh air and sunshine. We never had an issue with social distancing in our parks and I believe our residents and visitors will continue in the same respectful manner," Amato said.
Mayor Amato announced some more good news on Saturday with drive-in movies coming to Veterans Park.
"Berkeley Township is planning on three outdoor drive-in movies at Veterans Park. The first drive-in movie will be Saturday, June 6. Due to space limitations, residents MUST register in advance, and will be a first come, first served basis, open to Berkeley Township residents only," Amato said. "Families will have an opportunity to vote on which movie will be shown, through the town's Facebook page beginning on Monday."
Registration and voting will begin on Monday on the Berkeley Township Facebook page.