It’s hard to believe it’s been over two years since we put our toes in the sand at Lakeshore Beach. A shoreline restoration project and park enhancements, combined with “Stay at Home” orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, kept the beach shuttered for the last two summers.
Come Memorial Day weekend that changed as the tunnel opened and we welcomed back beachgoers to Novi’s sandy escape from busy city life.
“It’s been a few years since I last relaxed on the beach,” said Mayor Bob Gatt. “But I love driving by the area and seeing all the kids splashing in the water and families spending time together outside.”
The re-opening of Lakeshore Beach in 2021 comes with some changes – most notably the absence of lifeguards. Hiring lifeguards has been a challenge over the last few years and if they were not available it would mean the beach would have to close. By changing to a “swim at your own risk” beach, Lakeshore Beach will be able to have consistent hours of 10am-8pm starting the Saturday of Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Lakeshore Beach is not alone in operating in this fashion as the Department of Natural Resources, Oakland County, Huron Clinton Metro Parks and many other communities have stopped guarding their beaches. Enhanced safety procedures will be put into place and patrons and staff will have access to a life boat, life jackets, life rings, rope floats, and a first aid kit if needed. Building attendants who are staffing the new Lakeshore Park Building will also monitor and attend to both the beach and park patrons.
“This was not a decision we took lightly as our lifeguards have played a vital role at the beach over the years,” said Jeff Muck, Director of Novi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. “However, we feel comfortable having looked at other similar models that Lakeshore Beach will continue to be a safe place for visitors.”
Other improvements residents will notice include a restored shoreline, new picnic tables and a handicap-accessible ramp to the beach at the end of the sidewalk on the east end. You also will be able to clean the sand off your body and change into dry clothes when you leave the beach as there is now an outdoor shower and bathrooms with changing areas.
The gate to the beach will be controlled by Novi Parks staff and COVID-19 restrictions may limit the number of people on the beach during peak times. You can learn more about the upgraded Lakeshore Park and all Novi’s parks at cityofnovi.org.