Update: MPRB announces changes to lifeguard services at Minneapolis beaches

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Update: MPRB announces changes to lifeguard services at Minneapolis beaches

Nokomis Beach

Weekend Lifeguards at Select Minneapolis Beaches

Effective Saturday, June 20, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will offer weekend lifeguard services from 12 noon to 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday, June 20-21 and June 27-28 at the three most-visited beaches in the park system:

Daily Lifeguards at Select Minneapolis Beaches

The MPRB plans to hire additional lifeguards and by Thursday, July 2, offer daily lifeguard services from 12 noon until 7 pm at the five most-visited beaches:

If the temperature is 85 degrees or warmer at 6 pm, lifeguard hours will be extended to 8 pm.

MPRB’s other seven beaches will not have lifeguard services this summer.

Social Distancing

All beach visitors are encouraged to social distance, bring a water bottle and hand sanitizer, and follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Background on 2020 lifeguard services

MPRB announced earlier that beaches would not be staffed with lifeguards this summer. That decision was made based on factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the organization's process for hiring lifeguards, including the statewide "Stay at Home MN" executive order in March, April and May; the cancellation of Red Cross lifeguard training sessions; and the MPRB's inability this spring to offer in-person training for in-water rescues and coordinated emergency action plans. The MPRB plans to hire lifeguards previously employed by the MPRB who are already certified and provide in-person training over the next two weeks.

Additional beach and water safety information

  • MPRB beaches are accessible during regular park hours: 6 am to 10 pm.
  • Buoys marking swimming areas have been deployed at the five busiest beaches listed above. Buoys will be deployed at MPRB's other seven other beaches by July 4.
  • Swim docks will not be installed.
  • Multi-language signs alert visitors at non-guarded beaches that no lifeguards on duty.
  • Multi-language signs at all beaches encourage visitors to follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and maintain social distancing in and out of the water.
  • More information on modified operations at Minneapolis beaches due to COVID-19

Water Safety Orientation with Social Distancing
Beginning July 6, MPRB lifeguards will offer social-distance-compliant water orientation lessons at Wirth Beach for youth ages 6 to 14 years. The four-day, 40-minute lessons will be offered weekly Monday through Thursday and focus on fundamental swimming drills and safe water practices. Fees, scholarships and registrations details to come at minneapolisparks.org/summer2020; or email aquatics@minneapolisparks.org.

MPRB aquatics staff continues to explore possibilities for offering swim lessons during the pandemic, especially in communities that have faced systemic barriers to swimming and water recreation.