Friday May 24, 2013 | By:Felice E. Krycia-associate editor | News
Pristine Bennett Beach in Evans waiting for this year\'s beachcombers.
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry has announced the opening of Wendt and Bennett beaches, as well as numerous improvements at Como Lake Park, as the summer recreational season begins. All Erie County beaches and parks are open and available for use.
Wendt Beach in Derby and Bennett Beach in Evans offer spacious sandy spaces, amenities for families and recreational enthusiasts, and beautiful natural settings.
Wendt features a beautiful sandy beach for swimming when lifeguards are on duty, as well as picnic tables, a playground, and a shelter available for rental. At Bennett, beachgoers will immediately notice that the old bathhouse wall, which had blocked access to the beach while attracting vandalism, has been removed. In addition to extensive natural areas, Bennett now features an open and inviting beach with swimming, sunbathing, boating, and other summer fun activities available.
“The Erie County Parks Department is once again excited that another beach season is upon us. As part of our continued effort to make improvements, this year the parking lot at Bennett beach has been improved and some on-site amenities such as new picnic tables, grills, fencing, and an information kiosk have been added,” said Commissioner Troy Schinzel. “Working with our colleagues in the Department of Environment and Planning, we are also beginning to address the environmental benefits our beaches provide, such as the critical role that the beautiful but fragile dunes play. We are hoping to restore some of the damaged and heavily impacted dune areas back to the conditions seen in years past. We encourage all beach goers to enjoy themselves here, but to do so in a safe manner and within the established rules.”
From May 24 – June 14, both Wendt and Bennett beaches will be open Friday – Sunday (and holidays) from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. During this time, however, lifeguards will not be present and swimming is prohibited. From June 15 to Sept. 2, both beaches will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. During this time lifeguards will be present from Thursday to Monday with swimming permitted at those times.
The Rich Marino gazebo at Como Lake Park was inspected in Spring 2012, when it was discovered that structural and stabilization concerns that had been developing over years had noticeably worsened. The gazebo was immediately closed in order that an approved design for repairs could be provided and subsequent work begun. During this period of design and repair, Erie County approved and committed the financial resources necessary for the replacement of roofing on both the gazebo and nearby cook shelter. These roofs were recently completed, and the gazebo is once again ready to take reservations.
Additional renovations completed at Como Lake Park since Fall 2012 include roof replacement on Shelter No. 1, extensive carpentry work and improvements to Lancaster Place, and roof replacement and subsequent improvements at the Bowen Grove Shelter. Also, working in close cooperation with the Erie County Department of Public Works and the County Highway Department, as well as with contracted vendors, Parks personnel were able to complete significant improvements to roadways and parking lots within the park. Forthcoming roadway and parking lot improvements, along with upgrades to the Casino, have been authorized and are scheduled for completion by Fall 2013.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, or for information on how to reserve a shelter at an Erie County park, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/ or call 858-8355.