Social distancing is of paramount importance to everyone in the state and is continuing to be relayed and strongly encouraged by health officials, lawmakers, law enforcement and others.

As a result, Ocean County Parks and Recreation has announced will be keeping its 27 parks and two golf courses open to the public, but closing the visitor and nature centers until further notice.

The visitor and nature centers at Jake’s Branch County Park in Beachwood, Cattus Island County Park in Toms River, Wells Mills County Park in Ocean Township, and Cloverdale Farms County Park and Cedar Bridge Tavern in Barnegat Township have been closed to the public, but bathroom facilities will remain open.

Children’s programs, exercise, yoga and wellness programs, nature and outdoor events, weekend “drop-in” walks and feedings, van trips and hikes have been canceled until further notice.

In addition, the Ocean County Golf Courses at Forge Pond and Atlantis will be closed until further notice.

Ocean County Parks and Recreation has also closed the county dog parks at the Ocean County Airpark in Berkeley Township and Ocean County Park, Lakewood.

Playgrounds, tennis courts and basketball courts also will be closed at all Ocean County Parks.

“As the weather warms up, residents may want to get out of their homes for a bit and visiting one of our parks can be an option,” Ocean County Freeholder Virginia Haines, who serves as Chairwoman of Ocean County Parks and Recreation, said. “While our events and programs are canceled and nature centers are closed, we encourage families to take advantage of our parks and golf courses to get fresh air and exercise as we work together to get through this.”

“Our county parks are second to none and they are a great escape. You can visit a park and still be away from large crowds,” Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari said. “Luckily for us, nature allows us to have a break from everything that is happening right now.”

For questions or information on program refunds, you can call 732-506-9090.

Information can also be found on oceancountyparks.com or on the Parks Facebook page @OceanCountyParks.