Nature is calling, (not what you think), rather the Recreation Nature and Visitor Centers at Ocean County Parks are reopening Thursday for all guests with some new rules in place.

"As we continue to work with the threat of the coronavirus we must put restrictions in place for the protection of our visitors and staff," Ocean County Freeholder Ginny Haines, Chairwoman of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation, said. “It’s essential our visitors follow the rules that have been developed for everyone’s safety."

The first hour that centers are open will only be for senior citizens and the vulnerable population.

“Face masks will be mandatory inside the nature and visitor centers and capacity at each site will be limited to 25 percent,” Haines said.

Everyone is also asked to observe social distancing by remaining six feet apart and Haines said that groups should make every effort to stay together.

“We will also implement time limits when necessary so everyone has an opportunity to visit these park facilities,” Haines said.

Here are the nature and visitor centers that will be opening:

  • The Cooper Environmental Center at Cattus Island County Park, 1170 Cattus Island Blvd., Toms River, will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Jake’s Branch County Park Nature Center, 1100 Double Trouble Road, Beachwood, will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Wells Mills County Park Nature Center, 905 Route 532, Waretown, will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Cloverdale Farm County Park Visitor Center, 34 Cloverdale Road, Barnegat Township, will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Haines also announced the reopening of the Cedar Bridge Tavern County Historical Site on Cedar Bridge Road in Barnegat Township.

“Going forward, the Cedar Bridge Tavern will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays,” Haines said.

Bathroom facilities are available at all County park sites and visitors using them must be wearing a face covering.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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