Last week, the Park District Board of Commissioners made key decisions to preserve access to the Glencoe beach this summer, with extra safety stipulations put in place due to COVID-19.
“We realize residents’ Glencoe beach experience will change in some ways this summer but believe we can all still find joy, comfort, and recreation at the beach. It’s a great way to show support for our community and Park District,” said Lisa Brooks, President of the Board of Park Commissioners.
The Glencoe beach will open as planned on Saturday, May 23, but with modifications to protect our guests and staff during this uncertain time. In order to help manage potential overcrowding this summer, access to the beach will require a season pass. No daily passes will be available for sale.
Season passes will be sold online HERE. Unfortunately, patrons will not be able to buy a season pass at the beach. To ensure availability, purchasing passes in advance of the summer season is strongly recommended. Early bird rates will be available through Monday, June 1.
The beach will be open to season pass holders from 9 AM to 9 PM and open to walkers only from 6 AM to 9 AM. The beach will be closed after 9 PM.
Park District staff will closely monitor visitors to reduce capacity and allow an approximate 10 ft. perimeter around individual patrons or family groups. On the busiest days, the beach may reach capacity. Beach attendees will be expected to practice social distancing and safety measures at all times.
This summer, the beach house will open only for bathroom use. There will be no shower access nor concessions sold. Rentals will not be available at all this summer, including paddle boards, beach chairs, umbrellas, kayaks, and barbeques. Paddle boards and kayaks may become available if restrictions are lifted and they can be safely rented out.
Per the Governor’s executive order, at this time, there is no swimming and no playground/spray pad access. This restriction may change in coming weeks.
Because of the seriousness of the current COVID-19 social distancing requirements and due to an abundance of concern for the health and well-being of our community and staff, no lifeguards will be on duty. If swimming is permitted this season, patrons will swim at their own risk. Park ambassadors will be onsite to monitor beach activities.
“Our staff has worked hard to balance safe and practical solutions with the needs of Glencoe residents who love our beach,” said Lisa Sheppard, Executive Director of Glencoe Park District. “But we cannot risk the health and safety of our community and our staff in the event of a rescue. Any potential person-to-person contact must be minimized whenever possible. Lifeguards are not equipped nor trained to deal with potentially infectious patients. We understand that this news is deeply disappointing, but truly is the only way we could open the beach this summer.”
Park district staff will be supplied with personal protective equipment.
“This summer is filled with challenges to deliver the recreational programs and services you have come to expect, but our staff is working hard to make your summer as fun and safe as possible,” Sheppard added. “We ask for your patience and kindness these next few weeks as the beach season gets underway. It’s all new to us too.”