A staffing shortage means that Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) must close the lifeguarded swimming beach at Seward Park. Because of difficulties hiring enough qualified people this summer, together with residual staffing impacts from the pandemic, there just aren’t enough lifeguards for all the planned swimming beaches. SPR based the decision to close Seward Park beach on a combination of equity considerations, geographic distribution, and proximity to other open beaches.
With the closure of Seward Park’s summer beach, SPR will be operating 7 swimming beaches this summer: Madrona, Magnuson, Matthews, Madison, Mount Baker, Pritchard, and West Green Lake. Our summer beaches are open daily, weather permitting, noon to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Most beaches will be open until Labor Day. The nearest lifeguarded beaches to Seward Park are Pritchard Island Beach (within 2 miles) and Mount Baker beach (within 3.5 miles).
Our decision to close Seward Park beach is a difficult one as we know the community has enjoyed being able to swim at this location since it opened on June 26. At the beginning of summer, SPR had sufficient staffing to maintain 8 swimming beaches, but we are currently unable to do so due to a higher-than-normal staff attrition rate, as well as a higher percentage of inexperienced staff resulting from impacts from the pandemic last year when many aquatics facilities were closed, and most hiring was put on hold.
SPR is pleased to offer many more aquatics opportunities this year than last year. This summer, we are operating 11 wading pools, 10 sprayparks, 2 outdoor pools, and 2 indoor pools. Learn more here: Seattle Parks and Recreation – Parks | seattle.gov.