Evanston’s South Boulevard Beach will have shortened swimming hours Monday through Friday next week because of staffing shortages.

The beach will be open those days, but swimming will be restricted to the hours of 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Regular hours will resume there on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Evanston’s four other public swimming beaches — Lighthouse, Clark Street, Greenwood Street and Lee Street — are scheduled to be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., weather and water conditions permitting.

The final day of the 2011 beach season is Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5.

For more information, call 847-866-4167.

Join the Conversation


  1. Swim at your Own Risk

    Can we please get our beaches back!    Lakes are such good summer fun – floating on inner tubes, skim boarding, jumping off docks.   With all the rules and restrictions ours feel more like an over regulated swimming pool.   

    Why don't we just post some signs that say "swim at your own risk" – maybe designate one or two beaches for boats and call it a day.     Even the shore lines of the East and West coast allow for more risk.

    If there aren't guards – simply state "no guards on duty".   If it's about insurance – maybe we can figure out how many other lake communities manage to keep the resource open and available for play.

    1. Back to School for Summer Beach Staff

      Anonymous, no one's taken your beaches away. You still have four you can attend next week, and they will be open for "regular" hours.

      Also know that a large part of the reason for the staffing shortage next week is most of the staff will be returning to school at ETHS on Monday. Yes, in addition to providing summer fun, our Evanston beaches provide work experience and summer earning opportunities to our young people through lifeguarding and gate attendant jobs.

      It's one of those rare opportunities where two needs can be met with one City of Evanston budget line item. Closing South Boulevard beach for a week when school resumes is a small price to pay for being able to do that. Thanks, City of Evanston, for once again launching a bunch of our own young people into the working world.



  2. More freedom – less restrictions

    My point is that there are too many restrictions as to how our beaches can be used.   Go to almost any other beach – in Michigan, Virginia,  California,  Vermont  – and you can just play.  Floating devices, frisbees, boogie boards, surf boards, throw a life jacket on your kid – it all seems to work out fine.   California even has numerous fire rings on the beach for use.

    I'm just saying – the Evanston beaches seem over regulated to me.   The lifeguards spend much of their time trying to keep people within the lines which become smaller and smaller as guard staffing gets tight.

    Let's cut the budget back even more.   Minimize the responsibility of the lifeguards.   Allow citizens to swim at their own risk.   Maybe we have lifeguards only on the weekends?   Maybe staff only one beach and leave the others open to those residents willing to assume their own risks.

    Too much government for me.


    1. Too many restrictions?

      Too many restrictions? Is ensuring the public safety a step too far for you? Sure, we can limit the lifeguards responsibility. Just look at what happened in Wilmette yesterday. They have "swim at your own risk"/No Swimming areas. Wilmette did the right thing and closed their swimming area when the water became too rough, however, they made the mistake of sending the majority of their guard staff home. End result: They were unable to effectively monitor the lakefront and keep people from swimming, and a 14 year old EVANSTON resident died.

      They tried to "cut back" and reduce the amount of "government" on the beach. Since you are so pro limited government, let me ask you this:

      Is it worth the cost to keep the lifeguard staff on duty doing their jobs, or is it better to pay a multi-millon dollar settlement? "Swim at your own risk" signs have never held up in court.

      — Common Sense Citizen

  3. Legality

    Is that legal?  Don't we pay for beach passes with certain expectation that (aside from eColi concerns) we can use it?  In what business is there the option of not providing the service that people pay for – because they don't have the staff? 

  4. Less restrictions

    I've been going to the beach for years and the past couple of years, the beaches in Evanston have gotten worse. More random rules and rude staff. What so wrong with swimming at your own risk? Next year I'll buy a pool pass from Wilmette.

  5. Beach safety

    Last week I wrote a response and deleted it. Tristan's death due to a drowning this past weekend at an ill staffed Wilmette beach compels me to post this. One of my earliest memories summering on a northern Illinois small lake was watching in horror as the lake was dredged for a 9 year old boy.  I can still see his lifeless body being pulled out of the water. He had been out on a blow up raft and wound up in water that was too deep and overgrown with weeds.

    There is a reason for rules at the beaches in Evanston. Lake Michigan is a harsh mistress with winds , currents and undertows that provide hidden danger. Jumping off the piers sounds like harmless fun until you realize that the undertows near the piers and jettys will pull even the best swimmers under. My son guarded the Evanston beaches for 3 summers. The training was rigorous and serious for a good reason. It started with mid May dusk swimming in very cold water and continued all summer long. The first aid training and quick response training he received as an Evanston lifeguard has served him well in camp and campus settings over the past 2 years.  The City of Evanston (and ETHS for offering an outstanding swim program)  should be commended for the kind of athleticism and quick thinking that is promoted through the guard program. This is an important job, one that provides job training , yes, but even more critical it is one that saves lives at our beaches every summer. The beach closings and rules may be inconvenient, but there is a reason for them. Keeping people safe at our beaches is well worth it. Just ask the grieving family of an Evanston teen who ventured north for some fun at a Wilmette beach Saturday.

  6. I think limiting beach hours

    I think limiting beach hours is reasonable. Although, I prefer the beach whenever our pool is closed with, I agree that they should limit the beach hours. I've noticed that the beach is getting dirtier and dirtier and though there are no recent drowning accidents, does the "swimming at your own risk" justifiable?

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *