Floating

Children enjoy a refreshing swim in Pebble Lake in Fergus Falls Saturday. Although there are no lifeguards, the beach remains open.

While many things have been rescheduled or canceled altogether due to the coronavirus pandemic, a day at the beach may be your only option to beat the heat this summer. In Fergus Falls, Pebble Lake Beach has seen a plethora of community members enjoying a swim in the lake, a few casts with the fishing rod and even kayaks have made it out onto the waters.

But while the beach is open to the public, Fergus Falls recreation coordinator Pam Muxfeldt wants to remind the public that the beach will be open but it is “swim at your own risk.”

“We have no lifeguards this year,” Muxfeldt said. “We had to make a decision early as we contract with the YMCA to provide lifeguards. With so many things unknown, we weren’t even sure we were going to be able to open the beach.”

In a typical year, lifeguards would be manning their stations in the middle of June. One of the issues that lifeguards faced this year was that they could not get certified due to their certification classes being canceled. So rather than close down, the recreation department decided to keep the beach open.

It has also been a very popular spot as families and those looking for a swim are finding different forms of recreation to enjoy. With that in mind, the city staff recently opened up the restrooms at the beach and established a cleaning protocol for the beach. Muxfeldt was asked if any of the docks that are available in the swimming area will return but was unsure if they would be put in this year.

Earlier in June, there was confusion on whether the beach was open or not due to city crews clearing trees and brush from the area. Like all city parks, Muxfeldt stated that the beach had not closed and community members are responsible for their own safety.

Even though the beach is without lifeguards, people are happy to have a public beach to visit.

“Of the folks we’ve talked to, people have been really happy that the beach is open,” Muxfeldt said.

 

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