DARIEN, Conn. Renovations to Weed Beach are moving forward after being halted for more than three years and are set to begin Aug. 15.
Parking will be limited, and the concession stand, bathhouse, lifeguard station and bathrooms will be closed while the renovations take place. The improvements will include a new bathhouse, restrooms and a concession stand adjacent to the playground, a new paddle tennis operations building, new sidewalks connecting sections of the beach, landscaping throughout the park and "greener" parking areas with less asphalt and more landscaping.
"People can still go to Pear Tree Point, so they're not going to be without a beach," said Jane Branigan, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission . Lifeguards will be present at Pear Tree Point for the rest of the summer.
Earlier this year the town accepted a $50,000 grant from the Pioneering Healthy Communities Initiative and the Darien YMCA to install exercise equipment along nature trails at the beach. The equipment will enable users to perform strength and cardio exercises.
The Weed Beach renovation was first approved back in 2008, but was stalled by the unstable economy along with other town capital projects. Last September, the Board of Selectmen approved the funds to move forward with the project.
In 2009, $250,000 in private funds was raised to install the waterfront playground. Apparently it paid off, because at the June 16 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Director Susan Swaitek said, "Sticker sales are slightly up. I think that's mostly due to the playground."
If all goes according to schedule, the Weed Beach renovations should be completed by summer 2012.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.