By The 411 News
Cool Lake Michigan water temperatures delayed swimming this past Memorial Day, as beaches officially opened in Gary. Water temperatures haven’t yet risen above 50 degrees.
Visitors this year will find new Gary Parks Dept. rules and policies; one is for families and their children.
Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult-age 18 and over and must always be within arm’s reach of an adult.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said the policy change was developed over the winter. “We convened a committee of park workers and volunteers who worked to improve the city’s beach emergency action plan. The plan provides our lifeguards with a step by step guide when faced with emergencies.” Last year the city experienced a number of beach related emergencies; many involving children with Park Safety Staff saving numerous lives.
New parking rates are in effect this summer at Marquette and Lake Street beaches.
Lake Street Trailer Rates: $10 Gary Residents, $12 Lake County Residents, $15 Non-Lake County Residents (maximum 2 jet skis, $3/jet ski after 2)
Season Parking Passes: $60 Gary Residents, $65 Lake County Residents, $75 Non-Lake County Residents
Pay station Parking: $7 day ($1 convenience fee for mobile pay app payments)
The Parks Department “Carry-In, Carry-Out” policy, implemented last year remains in effect. The policy enforces the city’s litter ordinance, requiring visitors to take out of the park what is taken in.
Last year the department removed trash receptacles from the shoreline and relocated them at entrance, exit points and other designated locations at Marquette Park and Lake Street to accommodate the new policy.
Visitors will receive trash bags at the parking booth. “The policy worked well last year,” said Parks Superintendent Nathaniel George. “We saw a cleaner shoreline and less debris in the park and we actually received positive feedback from visitors to the park.”
The Parks Department reminds beachgoers to take caution during and after thunderstorms due to the occurrence of rip current, high waves and undertows. E-coli counts are also often high after heavy rains. The city monitors the weather and water conditions through the National Weather Center.
For more information, contact the Gary Parks Department at (219) 886-7099.