“Last year we had 1,400 passes available and we didn’t use them all,” said Michele Geremia, director of the Barrington Recreation Department which oversees the beach. “This year, we ordered 1,600, and they are gone. Residents can still use the beach, we just don’t have the stickers to give out. They keep their receipt and gain access to the parking lot.”
The cost for a beach pass is $30 for residents, free for senior citizens. The parking lot is open only to residents with a valid beach pass.
Ms. Geremia believes new investments in the town facilities, as well as a summer of great beach weather, have led to a lot more usage of the town beach. She said people aren’t just buying more beach passes; they’re visiting more regularly.Beach improvements completed this spring include erosion and run-off mitigation, a newly paved parking lot, new guardrails and newly planted beach grass.
On Sunday, late afternoon, the sun was shining and the temperatures leveled out in the low 80s — a perfect Rhode Island beach day.
At Barrington Beach, finding a parking space was a challenge. As soon as a spot opened up, it was quickly filled by a new carload — single people, families, couples.
The weather has helped the beach season as well.
“It’s been a great summer. Little rain and low temperatures have made the water quality in the bay optimal. In fact, we haven’t had to close the beach to swimmers even one day,” Ms. Geremia said.Residents seem to appreciate the work that was done to improve the town beach.
Kathy Buckley said she hadn’t been to the beach since her children were small but has been coming to the shore this summer and appreciates that the town has such a great resource.
“The bathroom facilities are great, and the improvements to the beach make coming here much more enjoyable than when I came with my kids 10 years ago. The water is cleaner, and I think the culture is changing regarding the town beach. I hadn’t been down in years, and I’m pleased to know that it’s being utilized to its greatest potential,” Mrs. Buckley said.
— By Joan D. Warren