Groveland Beach Park is now closed.
The city of Mercer Island confirmed in a press release today (July 30) that the area, including its dock and parking lot, will be off limits to the public due to safety concerns.
“This difficult decision is intended to minimize the frequent large gatherings that have been occurring at the park for several weeks,” the release states. “Despite extensive city outreach efforts, many patrons at Groveland Beach Park have not complied with social distancing requirements, the statewide mask mandate or adhered to the group size limit, which is currently five people or fewer in King County.”
City staff blocked the parking lot entrance earlier this morning.
“We know how much people enjoy getting outdoors in the hot weather and need opportunities to safely recreate,” added City Manager Jessi Bon in the release. “But after weeks of education, mask distribution, signage and warnings about crowding at Groveland Beach Park, this was our only option remaining to protect public safety. The pandemic is still very much underway.”
Fencing now blocks the park entrance; electronic message boards have been placed on the street in front of the park to mitigate negative traffic effects.
The release adds that overuse of the park was resulting in overflow parking in nearby neighborhoods, an unmanageable amount of trash, obstacle-ridden conditions for bikers and pedestrians and an abundance of Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) patrols resulting in officers being drawn “away from other work.”
Although Groveland Beach Park access is being cut off, most other park amenities and resources are still open to the public, the release states. Other available amenities are listed on www.mercerisland.gov/PlaySafe