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Cleveland Metroparks Outlines Selective Summer Reopenings

Cleveland Metroparks is opening more facilities for the summer season – includes concessions, marinas and beaches – as restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic continue to loosen.

Both Edgewater and Huntington beaches will open for guarded swim hours starting June 6, according to a press release, as will Wallace Lake. The Emerald Necklace, Wildwood, and East 55th Street marinas will open June 8, with the first hour reserved for vulnerable populations.

Concessions are now available at Huntington Beach and Edgewater Park, with additional locations opening Friday and Saturday, though the upstairs patio bar at Edgewater will remain closed for now. e55 on the lake is also open for carryout and patio service,

“We’re excited to be able to offer those amenities to the community when a lot of things aren’t able to be open or available,” said Metroparks Chief Operating Officer Joe Roszack.

Hinckley Spillway Swim Area, Ledge Pool and Merwin’s Wharf remain closed. That’s in part due to difficulty finding enough staff, Roszack said.

“COVID-19 and all of the other pressures on finding staff during this time are also very challenging,” Roszack said. “We’re excited and happy to find the staff that we did find.”

The late start in reopening also created additional challenges, Roszack said.

“Getting things up and going, and swim lesson sign-ups and things like that ready for the season, by the time we were ready to do that we were behind the eight ball,” Roszack said.

Villa Angela Beach will remain closed for safety, but not because of the virus Roszack said. Recent high water levels and strong currents have created a steep drop-off and hazardous conditions, he said.

Even with the openings, Cleveland Metroparks is asking visitors to continue following CDC guidelines and social distancing to prevent the spread, Roszack said.

“We have signs up that say busy beaches equal closed beaches, and busy parks equal closed parks,” Roszack said. “We’re trying to remind people that if it’s too crowded, if there’s too many people, try and find another place to go.”

Visitors are encouraged to come to the parks at different times throughout the day, and to shorten their visits to give space for other people. The parks have already seen some days of high traffic, Roszack said, but so far, overcrowding has not been an issue.

“People have been great. They’ve stayed spread out, they haven’t been congregated,” Roszack said. “They’ve been respecting everyone’s space and social distancing.”

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