No, You Can’t Go To Verona Park

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On March 16, Essex County closed all county parks because of the coronavirus. Though many Verona residents might not know it, that includes Verona Park, because it belongs to the county and not us.

What other parks are closed? Eagle Rock Reservation, South Mountain Reservation, Grover Cleveland Park, Brookdale Park, Branch Brook Park. If it’s marked on the map above, it’s closed. That includes Turtle Back Zoo. So if you need to see animals other than the squirrels in your backyard, you’ll have to make do with the webcams at the National Zoo, or hope for more Twitter updates from Turtle Back.

UPDATE: Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. said on Friday, March 20, that his office has gotten multiple requests from residents to open the county parks, but they’re not budging. “Our actions were not taken lightly after consultation with the Essex County Public Health Officer and following guidelines from the NJ Department of Public Health and CDC,” DiVincenzo said in a statement. “It is time we all take this seriously.”

Meanwhile, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, who represents the district that includes Verona in the State Assembly, posted a note on Twitter to say that Morris County parks are open for passive recreation only. That means you can hike or bike, but no organized ball games. Playground in Morris County parks are closed and bathroom facilities may be closed in the parks too.

Passaic County parks are also open, with the same restrictions.

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