Officials prepare for busy Father's Day weekend at Lake Michigan beaches

Published: Jun. 15, 2018 at 7:36 PM EDT
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It’s set to be a busy weekend along Lake Michigan in Berrien County and park officials are geared up to keep beach-goers safe and happy.

With the expected heat and it being Father’s Day weekend, a lot of people are expected to head out to the water.

The most important reminder from officials, is to follow basic rules at the beach, such as no alcohol, glass, or dogs along the beach and to listen to the lifeguards on duty.

Officials say these are family-friendly beaches, and they are working hard to make sure it stays that way.

“I’ve grown up on this lake, I’m a beach person. I love the beach, love Lake Michigan, it’s my church,” said beachgoer Robert Flood with a laugh.

Like Robert Flood, many locals and tourists find peace and enjoyment along the beaches of Lake Michigan.

Even those who work to maintain the public spaces along the lake enjoy it with their families.

“I didn’t grow up around here, so moving here, all of this was brand new, and it’s wonderful and I’m so happy to be able to raise my family here,” said Jill Adams, the environmental property manager for Berrien County. “This is a family-friendly beach. When I have a day off, I bring my kid here to play.”

Sadly, there have been some concerns throughout the community after incidents such as this Memorial Day weekend, when a fight broke out at Silver Beach.

But officials are fighting to keep the area safe for all.

“We strive to make Silver Beach a very family-friendly park. We do enforce our rules, we do welcome everybody, but we have officers on sight throughout the weekend and local law enforcement come drive through and help us maintain the order,” said Adams.

“We just want people to come in, have a good time, follow the rules. If you see today, there’s families all over the place here enjoying the water, enjoying their day, and that’s what we want people to do,” she added.

Another safety concern is the quality of the water.

Swimming at Lions Park Beach was prohibited this week due to high levels E. coli caused by last weekend’s stormy weather, but the levels are safe once again.

“We were able to do retesting of that water and since then, it has come back in the safe and clear and within the acceptable threshold; so that beach has been reopened,” said Gillian Conrad of the Berrien County Health Department.

“We don’t anticipate that there will be any problem this weekend, we know it’s going to be a hot one out there, so we really hope that people are able to come and enjoy our beaches,” she added.

You can check the water quality of any Michigan beach before you go at the Department of Environmental Quality’s website.

Silver Beach has lifeguards on duty seven days a week.

If you’re interested in lifeguard training, the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is hosting lifeguard training at the Berrien County Administration Center at 701 Main St. in St. Joseph, MI on Monday, June 18 from 8 a.m. to noon in a classroom, and then at Silver Beach from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.