[May 2 Update: Governor Murphy re-opened the state parks today. Leaving the note below for future reference.]
South Jersey Butterflyers & Friends,
As everyone knows, we are living through a disorienting and frightening time. Decisions that were so simple two months ago have become problematic. Even “Where should I go walking today?” has become a complicated question.
Governor Murphy’s Executive Order on April 7 closing all state and county parks has also created a problem for us as moderators of the South Jersey Butterfly Sightings Log. We want to encourage everyone to get out and search for butterflies — walking outdoors in safe areas is good for any naturalist’s mental and physical health (obviously), and your reports create valuable data. We believe, however, that allowing reports from restricted areas could be seen as disrespect for the Governor’s measures.
Whether or not it was the right choice to close the parks, the Executive Order came as one component of a much larger and crucially important effort to save lives by flattening the curve of the pandemic.
Out of respect for that decision and in general support of any attempt to protect NJ residents from the virus, we are encouraging people to stay away from closed areas.
We are also announcing here that the log will not be posting reports from those closed areas.
Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome, of course.
Stay safe and keep exploring — when and where you can!
South Jersey Butterfly Project
Update: Emile DeVito, Manager of Science & Stewardship for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, has kindly responded to our email about this desicion with a reminder about New Jersey WMAs and NJCF Preserves. He has also sent a helpful map of Michael Huber Preserve which is linked below.
He writes, “Southern NJ has so many NJ Div F&W WMAs and they are ALL still open. Please encourage folks to use those areas with proper safeguards until other areas open up. Also, all NJCF Preserves in southern NJ are open except Franklin Parker Preserve. Explore especially Michael Huber Preserve!”
The map is here: NJCF Michael Huber Preserve Trail Map