NJ residents flock outside as vaccine earns free state parks

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ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, N.J. (AP) — As New Jersey residents prepare to hit the outdoors for the Fourth of July, the state’s parks are already seeing an explosion in popularity, with more than 100,000 people signing up for annual park passes as part of New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine incentive. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced in May that any state resident who has at least one shot by July 4 can get a free state parks pass. The state Department of Environmental Protection says the 100,000 signups is up from nearly 50,000 earlier this month. The six-digit count dwarfs the roughly 5,000 annual passes typically purchased in a year.

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