A new study shows that while New Jersey may be known for its traffic and strip malls, we also dedicate a lot of land to parks. The research was done for Cliq, a company that makes camping and beach chairs, and reported by the New Jersey Herald.

The researchers calculated the proportion of state land designated for parks and wildlife as well as the state share of total U.S. parks and wildlife areas and the total outdoor recreation value added per capita. In the final analysis, the Garden State dedicates around 20% of its land to parks and wildlife. Alaska is way out in front with almost 40% of land used as parks.

The pandemic also increased the number of visitors to parks; with the pandemic limiting travel options, the Delaware Water Gap saw a surge in visitors last year. According to NorthJersey.com, the park welcomed 4.1 million visitors last year, placing it in the top ten most visited national parks (there are 423 of them).

According to the park’s website, they are ready for another busy season: “This summer, our visitors will see our staff stationed at busy sites throughout the park where we can best serve the public’s needs. We’re going to put our focus where our visitors are and where we can be of most assistance.” said Superintendent Sula Jacobs of the park’s summer plans. “We’ve been planning ahead and getting the park ready to welcome our visitors,” she added. “But for the best trips, we recommend that visitors plan ahead too.”

New Jersey offered a “Vax and Visit” program that allowed free admission to state parks with proof of vaccination; over 100,000 people took advantage before the program closed.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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