NJ State Parks Prepared for Summer 2023, Says Murphy Administration
Starting this Memorial Day weekend, Oceanfront Lifeguards will be on duty at multiple locations as the State Park Service prepares for the arrival of summer. Additionally, electric vehicle charging stations will be operational at many state parks and forests, announced Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.
The season’s lifeguard kick-off begins on Memorial Day weekend at Island Beach State Park. Lifeguards will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting on Saturday, May 27th through Monday, May 29th, and then on every Saturday and Sunday until June 19th. Lakefront swim areas will open on staggered dates in mid-June, while Island Beach State Park’s oceanfront swimming area will be open daily from June 19th to Labor Day, September 4th.
The State Park Service manages more than 453,000 acres of land, including over 40 state parks, 11 state forests, three recreation areas, and more than 50 historic sites and districts. Moreover, New Jersey’s state parks and forests are a favorite destination for relaxation, family and friends gatherings, hiking, and swimming. Hence, hiring people for a variety of seasonal positions is essential for the service, including lifeguard positions, general maintenance, naturalists, history educators, visitor services, and office assistants. Notably, lifeguard positions are currently available at swimming areas across the state. The job opportunities with the State Park Service start at $15 per hour and increase with experience.
Apart from providing job opportunities, the State Park Service was also keen to welcome visitors with electric vehicles. To this end, 10 Level 2 charging stations have been placed in state parks across the state, making it easy for electric vehicle drivers to charge their cars. Two charging stations are already operational at many state parks and forests’ locations, including Cheesequake State Park, High Point State Park, Round Valley Recreation Area, Wawayanda State Park, and Wharton State Forest – Batsto Village. All charging stations are in the parks’ swimming areas, except for Wharton State Forest.
“The tourism economy, outdoor recreation, and public lands are vital to New Jersey, and our state parks, forests, and historic sites are ready to welcome the public,” said Assistant Commissioner for State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites John Cecil. He added, “We recognize the importance of having the necessary amenities for people, including the ability to charge electric vehicles and swim under the watchful eye of a lifeguard. Take some time and come enjoy a day at the park, in the forest or stepping back in time at a historic site.”
In conclusion, Governor Phil Murphy’s proposed a 2nd year of free entrance to state parks, forests, and historic sites in the FY24 budget, currently under review by the New Jersey Legislature. Visitors can find detailed swim schedules at each property online. While no prior experience is needed, lifeguard candidates must pass running and swim tests before employment. Additionally, the State Park Service will train lifeguards in various crucial skills, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, and other medical matters. Every lifeguard will also receive a U.S. Lifesaving Association certification.