NYC PARKS SEASON OPENER

Announcement

NYC Parks & Recreation announces that New York City’s beaches will open to the public this Saturday, May 26.

As the unofficial start to summer kicks off this weekend with Memorial Day parades and barbecues, beach goers will be welcomed into the 2012 summer season with an opening day ceremony at Orchard Beach.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Borough Commissioner Hector Aponte will officially open the beach on Friday, May 25 on the promenade at Section 9 at 1 p.m.
Along with the commissioners, elected officials and Park Administrator Marianne Anderson will be on hand to talk about how patrons can ensure a fun and safe summer at the beach.

During Friday’s opening ceremony, attendees will also be treated to a air and ground helicopter demonstration conducted by U.S. Marines.

Anderson said new this year are concession stands that will be run by Havana Cafe.
“Havana Cafe, which is located on E. Tremont has been awarded concession this year,” Anderson said. “I believe they opened about a week ago and they will have three different food stations at the beach. I think people will be excited about that.”

Also this year, NYC Parks Department will continue its partnership with the City Island and Castle Hill libraries to bring back “Stories in the Shade” on Thursday afternoons.
“We had someone come and read stories to children last year, so we will continue that this year,” Anderson said. “We also had some summer concerts with Latin bands on Sundays, so we are hoping to lock that in for this year again.”

Beach parking with begin on Saturday, May 26 and will cost $7 for cars during the week and $9 on weekends.
h lifeguards on duty daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Swimming is strictly prohibited at all other times. Beaches will remain open through Labor Day weekend.

City beaches span a total of 14 miles and include Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, Wolfe’s Pond Beach, and Cedar Grove on Staten Island. All City beaches are free to the public.

“With more than 14 miles of sand and water and more than 16 million visitors last summer –New York City’s beaches provide New Yorkers and visitors a spectacular natural setting for free fun in the sun,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “This summer, as always, we remind beach-goers to observe all beach rules and regulations, and most important, to observe common sense for yourself and your children and swim only where and when a lifeguard is on duty. Have fun at the beach!”

“New York City public beaches are open and safe for swimming, which is a great way to have fun and get exercise,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the New York City Health Commissioner.  “Beach-goers should be sure to enjoy the water only where and when a lifeguard is on duty.”

Swimmers are reminded to observe the following beach safety tips.

Swim only when lifeguards are present: Lifeguards are there for your protection. Follow their directions and all rules.

Swim with a friend: Drowning often involves single swimmers. A friend can signal for help if a problem develops.

Swim sober: Alcohol impairs swimming ability and is a major factor in drowning.

Supervise children: Watch children closely even when lifeguards are present.

Never chew gum or eat while swimming.

While enjoying yourself at the beach this summer, all New Yorkers are also reminded to dispose of their litter in the many trash receptacles that are provided. Each summer day, Parks picks up about 1,300 cubic yards of litter dropped on the ground or left behind at our beaches, ballfields and picnic areas. New Yorkers are encouraged to “bag it at the beach” by disposing of their litter and helping to keep our city lean, green and clean.

This summer, Orchard Beach will welcome a new food concessionaire, Havana Café, who
will serve up Cuban, Italian and seafood menus to Bronx beachgoers. Brooklyn’s Coney Island hosts two new rides, Boardwalk Flight and Coney Island Raceway, part of the second phase of development of the Scream Zone amusement park. In Queens, Rockaway East (Beach 11 – 17 Streets) features a new skate park, sports courts and climbing wall with a performance area and playground to open later this summer. On Staten Island, thanks to funds from Borough President Molinaro, we are constructing a $12 million entry plaza to Midland Beach which will provide a permanent home for the historic Victory Diner, and is expected to open in the summer of 2013.

The Health Department regularly tests the city’s beach water and inspects beaches to ensure compliance with local, state and federal safety standards. When water near the beaches becomes contaminated, it can pose health risks – especially to infants, toddlers, people over 65, and those with underlying medical conditions. Beach advisories, closures and water quality test results will be posted at www.nyc.gov/health/beach and updated regularly throughout the summer. You can also get this information by calling 311.

For additional information on all beach happenings this summer, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks or call 311.