Woodlawn Beach State Park opens...with restrictions

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WBEN) – Woodlawn Beach State Park officially opened for the 2020 season on Friday, though this year will feature some restrictions for beachgoers.

Families are still encouraged to go to the beach but to maintain proper social distancing, including six feet of distance from other beach parties and to separate beach blankets by ten feet.

If the separation between groups isn’t possible, people will be asked to wear a mask. Other changes include a 50 percent reduction in capacity in the parking lots that traditionally can fit 800 cars.

 “We want to keep the group to ten or less,” Assemblyman Sean Ryan said on Friday. “…Things might not go back to the way they used to be for some time, but we’re going to develop a new normal. That new normal is going to include recreational activities.”

Rangers and police officers will be at the beaches this weekend, though Ryan said enforcement will most likely be done by park staff, rather than police.

“We don’t ever seem to ever get a big (gathering), unless there’s an event planned, we don’t seem to get an overwhelming number of people. We’re not going to do the events…we’re going to keep the low-key, business as usual. We hope that, with that and opening the other beaches, that we’ll be able to keep this at its usual pace.”

The playground at the beach remains closed.

Signs at the park indicate that a tiki bar, full menu, live music, and more, are coming soon. Those features are part of different phases in the state’s reopening phases. Ryan said the signs are optimistic and they hope they will be available this summer.