Hopewell Valley leaders keep recreation areas available to residents

Jacobs Creek Trail, photo courtesy FoHVOS

Statement from the Mayors of Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, and Pennington Borough Regarding Municipal Parks:

Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order announcing the closing of state and county parks. Municipalities have the discretion to open or close local parks.

After careful consideration, and consultation with our Health Officer, we have decided that Hopewell Valley residents will benefit if certain local parks remain open for limited purposes.  The stay at home order does not ban walking outdoors. Unlike other parts of the state, the Hopewell Valley is not densely populated. We have an extensive network of 45 miles of trails (not including county and state owned lands), and people should be able to use those trails while maintaining the requirements for social distancing.

Photo by Ruth Markoe, courtesy of Lawrence Hopewell Trail

This decision has been made in consultation with the D&R Greenway Land Trust, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS), New Jersey Conservation Foundation, (NJCF) and Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT). 

The following Hopewell Valley parks will remain open.

Hopewell  Borough:

  • “Gazebo” park (Playground closed/Trails open)
  • Train Station (Basketball court closed)

Hopewell Township:

Pennington Borough:

The Lawrence Hopewell Trail winds through multiple municipalities over lands owned by numerous other parties.  Please check the LHT website frequently for the most up to date information on segments that are open.

Eames Preserve, photo courtesy of FoHVOS

Lawrence Township, through which the LHT also runs, has adopted a similar plan. The Township is keeping parks open now and will continue to assess that decision as necessary. 

Our decision to keep certain parks open works only if residents agree to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control regarding social distancing (at least six feet) and facial coverings when appropriate. Simply put, if the rules are not followed, the parks will be closed immediately and not reopened so long as the Governor’s executive order closing state and county parks is in effect.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Paul Anzano
Mayor, Hopewell Borough

Kristin McLaughlin
Mayor, Hopewell Township

Michael Ruger
Deputy Mayor, Hopewell Township

Julie Blake
Township Committee member, Hopewell Township

Kevin Kuchinski
Township Committee member, Hopewell Township

Courtney Peters-Manning
Township Committee member, Hopewell Township

Joseph Lawver
Mayor, Pennington Borough

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