No Swimming at Euclid Beach Upsets Residents, Metroparks Cites Safety Risk
By Joanna Richards
Residents’ frustration over a swimming ban at Euclid Beach exploded into outrage this week when a Cleveland Metroparks ranger gave a man a ticket for refusing to keep his six-year-old daughter from wading in the water. But park officials contend there’s a safety risk.
Swimming is usually allowed at the beach, but when Metroparks officials recently discovered construction debris under the water, they said they had to restrict access to keep people from getting hurt.
A Metroparks spokeswoman said nearby Villa Angela Beach and Euclid Creek – and Simms Beach in the City of Euclid – are restricted for the same reasons.
Beach goers complained at a Metroparks commissioners’ meeting Thursday, along with Cleveland City Councilman Michael Polensek. He pointed out the area had the only East Side access for lake swimming.
"We don’t belong to country clubs. We don’t have pools in our backyards – unless you blow ’em up, okay? This is what we utilize, along the lakefront," Polensek said.
The commissioners said they wanted to open the beach at least for wading this year, but need the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove the debris and issue a permit.
A Metroparks spokeswoman defended the ranger's decision to issue the ticket, saying the man wasn't close enough to protect his daughter from nearby sharp drop-offs, and repeatedly refused to comply with the ranger's requests.
The official policy, posted at the sites, is that no water contact is allowed, but the spokeswoman said no one’s going to be cited for filling buckets for sand castles or walking along the water’s edge.