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Summit Metro Parks Suspends Lake Swimming for the Summer

Mill Creek Metro Parks
Tim Rudell
Summit Metro Parks is closing swimming at Munroe Falls and Silver Creek lakes this summer, due to lifeguard shortages.

Summit Metro Parks has suspended swimming at Munroe Falls and Silver Creek lakes for this summer. In a statement, the Metro Parks cited staffing challenges as the reason for the closures, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief of Marketing and Communications Stephanie Walton says the Metro Parks have been dealing with a shortage of lifeguard staff for several years, which COVID-19 made insurmountable.

No swimming this summer at Metro Parks lakes
Park district could not find enough lifeguards
a lifeguard float

“Since we were closed last year due to COVID-19, we relied really heavily on returning staff, and we unfortunately don’t have any returning staff this year, so it really just made an ongoing challenge even worse,” Walton said.

Walton emphasizes the lakes will be open to the public in other ways, including dog swimming days each Thursday, lessons for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking, as well as fishing.

The Metro Parks plan to get feedback from the publicand re-evaluate the best use for both lakes by the end of the summer.

Mason Lawlor is a senior studying journalism at Kent State University, with a minor in entrepreneurship. He has been a reporter for The Kent Stater for three semesters covering sports and the city of Kent.