Seattle Parks and Recreation closed the beach at Seward Park earlier this week because of a lack of lifeguards.
“Because of difficulties hiring enough qualified people this summer, together with residual staffing impacts from the pandemic, there just aren’t enough lifeguards for all the planned swimming beaches,” the parks department said after basing the decision to close Seward Park’s beach “on a combination of equity considerations, geographic distribution, and proximity to other open beaches.”
“We chose Seward Park as it is located between two other public beaches (Mount Baker and Pritchard Beach — all in Southeast Seattle) and because we have a construction project at Seward that is impacting parking at the park,” said city spokesperson Rachel Schulkin.
Seattle Parks and Recreation said it is trying to recruit and hire as many lifeguards as possible. However, the department does not anticipate reopening Seward Park beach this summer. Rather, it will focus on keeping other wading pools, outdoor pools and beaches open and on reopening more indoor pools and aquatic activities.
The city will still staff seven beaches with lifeguards: Madrona, Magnuson, Matthews, Madison, Mount Baker, Pritchard and West Green Lake.
Beaches throughout the region were closed for an extended period of time last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in four cases, budget cuts.
Swimming beaches are open daily, weather permitting, and staffed from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.