Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch reader Heather Wojda sent an email Thursday afternoon after she and her son, Jonathan, were told not to swim with their dog at the Dog Beach at Lake Bluff's Sunrise Beach and Park.
Yesterday, my son Jonathan and I strolled down to the beach with our pooch, Erma, to take a cooling dip in the lake. We were told that humans are no longer allowed to swim at the dog beach, due to the fact that there is not a life guard on that beach, and it involved too much liability.
Now, Erma is only a year old and doesn't like to swim unless we are swimming too, but I see many other owners enjoy a plunge with their dogs. Our family loves to spend the day at the beach with our dog. But we won't be able to do this any longer with the new rule.
Many others swim off this beach too, regardless of dog ownership status. I observe adults swimming here, training away from the sounds of children, I observe paddle boarders and kayakers who launch to and from this beach.
I am certain that if we can put our collective heads together, we can figure out a solution and bring swimming back to the dog beach.
Perhaps have a lifeguard on duty at the dog beach? Charge a small fee to dog owners to help offset the cost of this?
Include specific swimming hours at the dog beach?
Editor's Note: Patch spoke with Ron Salski, executive director of the Lake Bluff Park District, who admitted the change in posting signage that prohibits people from swimming at the dog beach came in the middle of the summer rather than before.
He said he wasn't aware people were swimming in that area until he saw it himself last weekend. He spoke to the park district's liability company, which told them without a life guard present, they were putting themselves and those swimmers at risk.
"We're responsible when someone swims over there," he said. "This is more of a safety issue."
Salski said people can still stand in the water with their dogs, but not swim.
The Park District board meets at 6 p.m. July 18 at the park district building, 355 W. Washington Ave., in Lake Bluff. Public comment is welcomed.