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Bennett Beach opens Friday for swimming, playgrounds at county parks sometime next week

Erie County officials provided updates on parks and recreation activities as the first day of summer approaches.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Families eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather got a lot of good news Wednesday from Erie County.

Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commissioner Troy Schinzel said lifeguards are lined up and ready for Bennett Beach to open on Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for swimming. Capacity will be limited to 50 percent, and beach towels and blankets must be spaced 10 feet apart.

Schinzel said that hopefully playgrounds in county parks will open sometime next week once swings are hung and new signs are installed.

He reminds parents that county workers will not be sanitizing playground equipment and encourages the use of hand sanitizer. Clubhouses and restrooms will be open starting Friday.

“Playgrounds and exercise equipment are not sanitized, so we suggest you bring your own hand sanitizer, and use at your own risk,” said Erie County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy Schinzel.

There is now two people per cart allowed if playing golf at either Grover Cleveland or Elma Meadows as long as both are immediate family members living in the same home. Walk-ins are still not allowed.

Unfortunately, building and shelter rentals are still prohibited through at least July 10. The county is hoping that might change once the state releases more information regarding openings under Phase 4.

And, with it being Juneteenth and Father’s Day this weekend, the Erie County Commissioner of Health wants to remind people to practice safe social distancing.

“You want to have small groups of people that are probably under ten. You want to celebrate outside rather than inside to reduce the risk of transmission. You want to limit any type of direct close contact with the individual, and make sure that if you can, if it’s somebody who’s not living in your home, to stay six-feet apart from them or more,” says Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.

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