Editor's Note: Water quality tests following heavy rains earlier this week prompted officials to temporarily close Eichler’s Cove Beach. The Newtown Parks & Recreation Department Thursday morning announced that the beach was closed until further notice.
According to the Newtown Health Department, water testing takes place regularly, and the beach could potentially reopen for the weekend, based on results.
UPDATE: Eichler's Cove reopened for public use on Saturday, July 12.
It is the middle of July and the annual quest for cool retreats from the summer heat is in full swing. Both Eichler’s Cove Marina and Treadwell Park offer swimming, and “overall, both facilities are doing well,” said Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold.
Following the July 4 weekend with its “beautiful weather,” she noted that guests have “been enjoying both” the town beach, boat launch, marina, and picnic area at the end of Old Bridge Road, and the town pool, park, and playground off of Philo Curtis Road.
Treadwell, had to temporarily close Saturday, July 5 into Sunday, July 6, after earlier thunderstorms had knocked out power at the park and pool. A tree fell on nearby power lines, Ms Mangold said, causing Treadwell to close. Once the pool equipment was again running to “maintain the water quality,” it reopened, she said.
Otherwise, the pool area is “doing great, it was just an act of nature, out of our control,” she said.
Eichler’s Cove has been busier this year. The recreation department staff has been renting it out for picnics, and beachgoers can also rent part of the beach for a party, with a fee for additional lifeguards.
Currently, Ms Mangold said, they are trying to book smaller parties “due to the lack of a bathhouse and pavilion.” So far, she added, “people are renting and really enjoying it and we hope to make those improvements so guests can rent for larger events.”
Already at work on its five-year Capital Improvement Plan requests, the Parks and Recreation Department’s future projects would include budgeting for improved parking, and the constructions of a bathhouse and pavilion.
“Currently [parking] is in poor condition and limited,” Ms Mangold said. “With 76 boat slips and beach guests, it’s hard to accommodate all park users.”
Phase two in the CIP is to replace portable toilets with permanent facilities. Based on conversations with park users, a bath house, which would also help during special events, is high on the list.
Ms Mangold also considered the convenience for beach visitors with young families. “It would be nice to have sinks and toilets and a place to rinse off,” she said.