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State park campground, day lot opens Monday

The beach building is currently undergoing construction, so parts of that facility will be closed until construction is complete.
Credit: Tribune photo / Michele DeYoung
Undated photo of Grand Haven State Park

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — The campground and the day-use parking lot at Grand Haven State Park will open for the year Monday.

Ron Olson, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks & Recreation division, said most things will look the same to those who set up their campers and RVs at the state park’s campground. However, those using the park will be urged to continue to observe the restrictions that have been put in place statewide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There will be clear notice that they should maintain social distancing,” Olson said. “When they go into the indoor bathroom facilities, they need to wear their masks, and we’re reminding people to bring sanitizers with them to make sure they’re covered.”

Olson said the bathroom facilities will undergo a daily “deep clean” in accordance with CDC guidelines, and will also be cleaned periodically throughout the day.

“We’re asking people to bring their masks, be respectful of people ... the same things they’ve been told over and over,” he added.

Those visiting the beach at Grand Haven State Park the past two weeks likely noticed large mounds of sand, which was deposited on the shore after being dredged out of the Grand River.

“The beach sand relocation would normally have been done by the end of April or the first of May, but that’s all been delayed,” Olson explained. “That should be done by the end of this week.”

Getting the state park ready to open has taken a lot of work, much of which goes unseen by the public.

“Obviously, with a lot of our beach parks, the relocation of sand takes place because of the drifting, and the removal of snow fences, which we use to try to keep the sand from blowing too far inland,” Olson said. “No. 2, the shower buildings and the flush toilets, all those have to be dewinterized, all the water turned on, and any water wells we have need to be tested by the health department. A lot of times there are unforeseen repairs – a broken water line, fixtures not operating properly.”

The beach building is currently undergoing construction, so parts of that facility will be closed until construction is complete.

As crowds flock to the Lake Michigan beach in the coming weeks, Olson hopes visitors continue to respect those around them by distancing as much as possible, and also observing the state park’s flag warning system.

“We’re asking people to separate themselves, and also observe all the safety things that would normally take place,” he said. “If there’s a red flag flying at the beach, don’t go in the water, and be wary of rip currents.”



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