"The decision to temporarily close the beach was not taken lightly, and was based upon a formal recommendation from our City Manager, Police Chief and Fire Chief. Many of our surrounding communities closed their beaches weeks ago, but we held out.
While we recognize that most Lake Forest residents have behaved responsibly, others have not. Increasing our police presence to ensure proper behavior is neither a practical nor responsible solution for us. During the summer the beach has a large staff on site, which we do not have at this time of year. I am sure everyone appreciates that our first responders are already putting themselves at risk of exposure to the New Coronavirus to serve you every day. Potentially exposing them to this virus through unnecessary and inherently close contact with people who are misbehaving at the beach is a poor risk to take. We need our police officers and firefighters to stay healthy so they can cover their normal duties and be available to respond to true emergencies that occur daily.
For the greater good of the entire community, during these unprecedented circumstances we will need to make difficult decisions like this to continue to promote the health and well-being of all Lake Foresters.
Our beautiful parks and trails will remain open for walking, running and bike riding as long as responsible physical distancing is practiced. There are hundreds of acres of open space in which to enjoy nature with your family, including almost 200 acres of developed parks, many acres of open, natural spaces and trails preserved by Lake Forest Open Lands, and miles of bike trails. I encourage you to visit these links to learn more:
We know this is a very difficult time for everyone, but it is not a permanent one. Our local healthcare professionals tell us there is light at the end of the tunnel, as long as we continue to do the right thing. It is more important now than ever to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Governor’s Order and trust that our collective actions are making a difference.
I hope that you and all your loved ones stay healthy."
Mayor George A. Pandaleon