Tri-Town Beach in Whately opening July 1

  • The Tri-Town Beach in Whately is slated for a July 1 opening. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer
Published: 6/22/2022 4:25:16 PM
Modified: 6/22/2022 4:24:57 PM

WHATELY — The Tri-Town Beach is gearing up for a July 1 opening, as the park is repaired and cleaned up after two years of disuse.

The Tri-Town Beach Commission has spent the last six months preparing the beach to reopen by repairing the bathrooms, removing weeds, and repainting and sanding down the picnic tables. The park was closed in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and remained closed last year because of its deteriorating condition.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commission adjusted the park’s hours, set the beach pass rate and decided to go with a balance of lifeguard supervision and swim-at-your-own-risk due to low staffing.

“At this point, we want to see how it goes,” said Deerfield Commissioner Patty Pirog about the beach’s hours, adding they will be looking at the amount of people at the beach and feedback from the public. “To have staffing here the whole time, that’s my preference. We’re going to test it and see how it goes.”

The park will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Beach season will end on Labor Day.

The commission is looking for more lifeguards and gatekeepers to help cover every shift possible. Pay for lifeguards begins at $20 an hour and gatekeepers will be paid $17 an hour. To inquire about applying, email Pirog at patty.pirog@covestro.com or visit Deerfield’s website.

“If we get more staffing, we can add more hours,” Pirog said.

Passes for the season are $50 for Deerfield and Whately residents; $100 for residents of Sunderland, Hatfield and Conway; and $25 for seniors. Day passes for residents of those towns are $20 per car. Passes can be purchased with cash or check at the beach.

The Tri-Town Beach Commission is also looking for additional volunteers to continue cleaning the beach. Those interested can contact the commission or come to the June 28 meeting, which will be held at the beach’s pavilion at 4 p.m.

The biggest outlying issue with the park, beyond regular maintenance and continuing repairs, is the large presence of dwarf bulrush plants, which are designated by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife as a threatened species. A survey of the park was conducted and any adaptation plan will have to wait until at least the fall.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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