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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

May 12, 2020

Feces and Bottles of Urine Left at Reopened NJ Parks, Police Say

New Jersey state and county parks have been open to the public since May 2 with enforced social distancing rules for visitors.

Parks were crowded on the first weekend of its opening as locals ventured outdoors to enjoy the sunny, 70-degree weather. However, with park facilities such as bathrooms remaining closed, there has been an issue of visitors leaving behind feces and urine-filled bottles, officials said.

Col. Patrick Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said he had seen an uptick of these reports from Park Police officials after Mother’s Day weekend. According to New Jersey’s state park service code, it is prohibited to urinate or defecate in any area other than places designated for such purposes.

“You’re not going to get a warning if we catch you leaving something like that behind. So, folks, please don’t do that,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Murphy is also urging visitors to wear face coverings in outdoor public areas due, in part, to some park’s narrow trails; it makes it nearly impossible to practice social distancing at those times.

Callahan said, “The whole idea behind the parks is to give our citizens the ability to go out there and enjoy fresh air and have time outside, and that report from the Park Police was certainly disheartening, to say the least.”

Anyone visiting outdoor public areas is reminded to wear proper safety equipment, maintain safe distance with others, and to exit the park and find an appropriate restroom if needed.