Summer camps resume July 6 with modifications. Most will be outdoors and there will be fewer programs than in typical years, said Livingstone. However, many are running as scheduled. Face coverings will be recommended for outdoor camps and required for indoor camps. According to Patti Conroy, superintendent of recreation, registration for summer programs began June 3 and generated about $94,000 in revenue by the Monday, June 8 Monmouth County Board of Recreation Commissioners meeting. While the MCPS encourages Monmouth County residents to take advantage of its offerings this summer, it advises that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 not use the parks or trails. It asks that visitors share the trails and warn others nearby when passing. There may be limited access to public restrooms and water fountains. Social distancing should be maintained with at least 6 feet from others at all times. Group gatherings should be avoided, it warned. While some activities are prohibited during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still plenty to do through the Monmouth County Park System (MCPS). Middletown resident Christopher Porter told The Two River Times that he has golfed six times in the past week and a half, including at the Shark River Golf Course in Neptune. He said the experience has not been very different compared to other years, aside from the face coverings. “You just need to wear a mask if you want to go inside the pro shop or clubhouse,” he said. Additionally, beaches at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park in Long Branch are also subject to periodic closures, according to the MCPS, if there are too many visitors. Beaches and golf courses reopened in May and June per Gov. Phil Murphy’s orders. However, there have been limitations to comply with social distancing. Sandy Hook is following the state’s lead and has been operating at 50 percent capacity to enforce proper social distancing regulations for beachgoers. Before the pandemic, the national park would typically operate with a capacity of nearly 4,500, according to Daphne Yun, National Park Service spokesperson. MONMOUTH COUNTY – July is national Parks and Recreation Month, and with the summer heat kicking in, it could be a good time to go outdoors and have some fun while remaining socially distant and wearing face coverings as recommended by the CDC. “We have a lot open for people to enjoy in the parks,” said Karen Livingstone, public information officer with the MCPS. “There’s a lot where people can still come out and enjoy. Our attendance has been up throughout the park system.” That includes basketball courts, boat ramps, fitness trails, skating rinks, marinas, off-leash dog areas, pickleball and tennis courts, picnic pavilions and more. But the most popular sites during the pandemic have been quintessential summer spots – beaches and golf courses, said Livingstone. Fishing areas and piers are also open, and the MCPS has even hosted two recent fishing derbies at the Manasquan Reservoir and Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold Township. Both derbies were attended by 100 participants, said Livingstone, and were successful. Social distancing regulations were still in place. July is national Parks and Recreation month, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in the Two River area. The Monmouth County Park System’s parks, golf courses, programs and more are open for all to enjoy – with social distancing guidelines in place. Courtesy MCPS Staying safe in the parks is important, the MCPS posted on its website. “Social distancing is the practice of reducing close contact between people to slow the spread of infections or diseases.” With few rainy days so far this summer, Livingstone said golf courses have also been busy this year. Tee time reservations are available one week in advance, with walk-on times generally available. Single-occupancy golf cart options are available during the pandemic and may result in limited cart availability throughout the day, according to MCPS. However, immediate family members, caretakers, household members and romantic partners can share a cart. Face coverings are required for entry into the golf centers. The article originally appeared in the July 2 – 8, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times.