MPRB announces changes to lifeguard services at Minneapolis beaches

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Weekend Lifeguards at Select Minneapolis Beaches

Effective Saturday, June 20, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will offer weekend lifeguard services from 12 noon to 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday, June 20-21 and June 27-28 at the three most-visited beaches in the park system:

Daily Lifeguards at Select Minneapolis Beaches

The MPRB plans to hire additional lifeguards and by Thursday, July 2, offer daily lifeguard services from 12 noon until 7 pm at the five most-visited beaches:

If the temperature is 85 degrees or warmer at 6 pm, lifeguard hours will be extended to 8 pm.

MPRB’s other seven beaches will not have lifeguard services this summer.

Social Distancing

All beach visitors are encouraged to social distance, bring a water bottle and hand sanitizer, and follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Background on 2020 lifeguard services

MPRB announced earlier that beaches would not be staffed with lifeguards this summer. That decision was made based on factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the organization’s process for hiring lifeguards, including the statewide “Stay at Home MN” executive order in March, April and May; the cancellation of Red Cross lifeguard training sessions; and the MPRB’s inability this spring to offer in-person training for in-water rescues and coordinated emergency action plans. The MPRB plans to hire lifeguards previously employed by the MPRB who are already certified and provide in-person training over the next two weeks.

Additional beach and water safety information

  • MPRB beaches are accessible during regular park hours: 6 am to 10 pm.
  • Buoys marking swimming areas have been deployed at the five busiest beaches listed above. Buoys will be deployed at MPRB’s other seven other beaches by July 4.
  • Swim docks will not be installed.
  • Multi-language signs alert visitors at non-guarded beaches that no lifeguards on duty.
  • Multi-language signs at all beaches encourage visitors to follow Minnesota Department of Health guidelines and maintain social distancing in and out of the water.
  • More information on modified operations at Minneapolis beaches due to COVID-19

Water Safety Orientation with Social Distancing
Beginning July 6, MPRB lifeguards will offer social-distance-compliant water orientation lessons at Wirth Beach for youth ages 6 to 14 years. The four-day, 40-minute lessons will be offered weekly Monday through Thursday and focus on fundamental swimming drills and safe water practices. Fees, scholarships and registrations details to come at minneapolisparks.org/summer2020; or email aquatics@minneapolisparks.org.

MPRB aquatics staff continues to explore possibilities for offering swim lessons during the pandemic, especially in communities that have faced systemic barriers to swimming and water recreation.