As summer approaches, the State Park Service is ready to kick off the season, with picnic areas ready for families and friends to gather, and electric vehicle charging stations available at several state parks and forests, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today.

Island Beach State Park will be the first location to have lifeguards on duty for the holiday weekend, and each weekend throughout June before opening for daily hours on June 19. Staggered openings are planned throughout June for swimming areas at other state parks and forests. In addition, the State Park Service has increased the number of electric vehicles charging stations at its properties and continues hiring people for a variety of seasonal positions.

Governor Phil Murphy has proposed a second year of free entrance to state parks, forests and historic sites in the FY24 budget, which is under review by the New Jersey Legislature.

To make state parks, forests and recreation areas more welcoming to visitors with electric vehicles, 10 Level 2 charging stations are located on state park grounds across the state.

Two charging stations are in place and operational at Cheesequake State Park (Middlesex County), High Point State Park (Sussex County), Round Valley Recreation Area (Hunterdon County), Wawayanda State Park (Sussex and Passaic counties), and Wharton State Forest - Batsto Village (Burlington County). All charging stations are in the parks’ swimming areas, except at Wharton State Forest. 

A $45,000 grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded in March 2022 helped fund the 10 electric vehicle chargers. Additionally, a July 2022 BPU grant included $150,000 for two DC fast chargers that will be installed at a later date at Liberty State Park in Hudson County.

Seasonal job opportunities with the State Park Service include general maintenance, naturalists and history educators, visitor services and office assistants. These positions start at $15 per hour and the hourly rate will increase with experience.

Applications are being accepted at

The State Park Service manages more than 453,000 acres of land, including 40 state parks, 11 state forests, three recreation areas and more than 50 historic sites and districts.

For more about New Jersey’s Parks, Forests & Historic Sites, visit