The coronavirus pandemic has not exactly been a day at the beach – but choosing to receive a vaccination will earn you a free spot on the sand.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday unveiled several new incentives to spur New Jersey residents to get vaccinated, including a pass to all 51 state parks – including the most popular (and expensive), Island Beach State Park – plus a free glass of wine at several of the state’s wineries. A dinner with the governor and first lady at Drumthwacket, the official governor’s mansion, or at the governor’s beach house at IBSP, are also offered up as potential prizes for a lucky vaccinated New Jerseyan.
Beginning Thursday, May 27, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks “Vax Pass” under the new “Vax and Visit” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021. The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to all of New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 27 through December 31, 2021.
New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.
“With continually improving public health indicators, we want every New Jersey resident to get a State Parks Vax Pass and get out to enjoy our incredible State Parks with their families and friends,” said Shawn LaTourette, Acting Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “From High Point in the northwest to Cape May Point in the southeast, our state parks provide a great place for New Jerseyans to connect with one another and with nature. A free State Parks Vax Pass is just one small way that we can thank our fellow residents for taking good care of themselves and each other by getting vaccinated against Covid-19.”
The state has set a goal of 4.7 million fully vaccinated New Jersey adults by June 30. There are now more than 1,700 vaccination sites statewide.
Murphy also announced the new “Uncork the Vaccination” program. In partnership with the Garden State Wine Growers Association, New Jerseyans ages 21 and over who receive their first Covid-19 vaccination in the month of May can visit one of New Jersey’s participating wineries and receive a free glass of wine. Participating wineries include Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyards, Bellview Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Salem Oak Vineyards, Terhune Orchards, Tomasello Winery, Villa Milagro Vineyards in Pohatcong, and White Horse Winery.
Beginning May 19, individuals age 18 or older who have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccination in New Jersey since the roll-out of the state’s program in December, can enter to win dinner along with a guest with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy. The winner will have the choice between dinner at Drumthwacket, the official Governor’s residence located in Princeton, or the Governor’s residence in Island Beach State Park. Entries must be submitted by May 31. To enter, visit covid19.nj.gov.