We've been feeling the heat we usually do at this time of year with summer underway and with all the humidity, it's making things unpleasant.

The good news is that the splash/spray park at John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park at Berkeley Island along with the playgrounds will reopen on Thursday July 2 as will the playgrounds at the other 14 Ocean County parks, the Freeholder Board announced on Monday afternoon.

The spray park at the John C. Bartlett Jr. County Park in Berkeley Township will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

“I am happy to announce the reopening of these popular attractions at our Ocean County Parks to visitors,” Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines, who serves as chairwoman of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement.

Park employees will be on site to monitor and assist with the number of patrons using the spray park at one time.

The spray park will have one way in and out and there will be time limits in order to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the spray park.

All park equipment at the spray park and at the playgrounds will be sanitized daily.

“It’s important to observe social distancing rules and to wear a mask when using these facilities and especially when you are around other people,” Haines said. “The spray park and the playgrounds are very popular with our residents and visitors, particularly children, and while we want the experience to be enjoyable it’s imperative that it’s also safe for everyone including park department staff. Patrons should bring hand sanitizer with them to use before and after playground use. There also will be no food, drink or toys permitted."

Ocean County began to gradually reopen its parks beginning May 2 following guidelines from the state and health experts and by the end of May all Ocean County parks, including off-leash dog parks, were reopened to the public.

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

Freeholders are strongly recommending wearing a face covering when accessing the dog parks at Ocean County Airpark in Berkeley Township and Ocean County Park, Lakewood and all of the parks in the county system.

The nature centers at Cattus Island County Park, Toms River, Jakes Branch County Park, Beachwood and Wells Mills County Park, Waretown, do however remain closed to the public.

Ocean County closed its parks and natural lands to the public on March 31 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and based on the mandates from President Trump and Gov. Murphy for social distancing and stay at home orders.

“We want everyone to enjoy our parks and natural lands safely,” Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari said. “The health and safety of our residents and visitors is paramount. It’s important that we continue to follow social distancing rules and use face masks. 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. We need to continue to do our part to stop the spread of this virus."

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

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