With school out and high humidity here for the summer, families may want to take advantage of the local Briar Point Beach for a dip.
The beach has been open on weekends since the beginning of June, according to lifeguard Rebecca Searly.
“We opened up full-time on June 18,” she said.
According to Guy Lefebvre, the director at Parks and Recreation, the Fourth of July weekend saw some beautiful weather and was “quite busy.”
“Last year, the Fourth of July had record low temperatures so this year was a nice start to the season and we’re hoping for the best,” he said.
The beach has two lifeguards stationed every day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lefebvre stated that people are allowed to utilize the parks and beach after hours, but are asked to leave at dusk.
“We have an attendant who works the evening shift to ensure they are out of the park,” said Lefebvre. No one is allowed to be there beyond dusk, which right now is approximately 8:30 p.m., he said.
“The weekends are usually pretty busy and weekdays are much calmer,” said Searly.
Merita Dunn, former Coventry resident, now lives in Seekonk, Massachusetts, and faithfully makes the drive to the beach with her triplet daughters.
“We come two to three times a week, sometimes more,” said Dunn. “The girls would come here everyday if I’d drive.”
She said that she always feels safe at this beach, with the designated swimming area small enough so she can see what her daughters are doing.
“I feel comfortable being here,” Dunn said. “Sometimes it gets crowded, but not all the time and even then, I [still feel comfortable].”
Christina Lorenson, Coventry resident, stated that her family moved to Coventry in 2003 and they come to the beach at least a couple times per season.
“We like to come at night for an hour or two,” Lorenson said. She explained that at times, she and her two daughters have walked to the beach.
“I gave my 9-year-old a choice—this beach or the ocean beach, and she chose to come here,” said Lorenson. “I imagine because there are much less crowds.”
The Lorenson and Dunn girls played together in the water. Rayann Dunn, 9, explained that she made up a game they like to play called “water war.”
“We just splash each other,” said Rayann. She said that she likes to go to Briar Point Beach because it is “better and cleaner.”
According to Demetria Dunn, 9, the water has “different temperatures depending on where you are in the water.”
“It feels good to jump in,” she said. Demetria pointed out to the water and stated that Greta Lorenson, 4, had said she “wants to be in the water forever.”
All the girls agreed that in the heat, they like to be at the beach.
According to Lefebvre, the beach is maintained everyday Monday and Friday to “improve the appearance and surface” for beachgoers.
He also stated that the nearby group home, Community Solutions, assists with litter clean-up on the beach twice a week.
“It has certainly been a benefit to us for a couple years now,” said Lefebvre. “We appreciate the effort on their part.”
During the day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Coventry residents are charged five dollars to park and non-Coventry residents are charged 10 dollars, he said.
He stated that a resident must show proof of residency through a vehicle registration.
If residents choose to walk to the beach without a vehicle to park, they will be charged one dollar per person.
Season passes are also available for residents for $50 and can be purchased through the Parks and Recreation Department.
“There is also a fee for grilling, if someone wants to bring in a charcoal or gas grill,” Lefebvre said. To grill, residents will be charged two dollars and nonresidents charged four dollars.
There are a dozen picnic areas and a playground nearby so people can grill or relax in the shade.
“Dogs aren’t allowed at the beach,” said Searly. “But they are allowed in the park and picnic areas if they are kept on a leash.”
Beachgoers should also be aware that they may not use any floatation devices or artificial support of any kind.
“It gives them a false sense of security,” said Lefebvre. “If they fall off, lose control or slip through, it’s a potential risk for a child going into the water because they cannot handle the device.”
He stated that the two lifeguards on duty carefully watch to ensure an enjoyable day for families.