The Evanston season began on May 25 with the opening of the City’s public beaches. Beach season lasts through Sept. 2 (Labor Day), according to the City of Evanston’s website, www.cityof evanston.org.
Public beaches are open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through June 14. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. June 15-Labor Day.
Access to the public beaches requires a season token or daily pass. Daily passes may be purchased at each beach entrance. Season tokens have been on sale since April 1, and may be purchased weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morton Civic Center (2100 Ridge Ave.) and at local community centers.
Daily passes cost $6 for children ages 1-11 and $8 for people aged 12 and older. Season tokens purchased from April 1 through June 14 are $26 for Evanston or Skokie residents and $42 for nonresidents. Tokens purchased June 15 through July 31 are $34 for residents and $58 for nonresidents. Tokens purchased August 1 through Labor Day are $17 for residents and $29 for nonresidents. Admission for children under 1 is always free.
Free beach days for Evanston residents will be held at Clark Street Beach on Mondays from July 8 through Aug. 26.
Fee assistance is available to qualified Evanston residents for season beach tokens. Residents may apply for fee assistance at the Morton Civic Center or any community center. Free beach admission is also offered to Evanston teens through a 10-punch pass as part of the Mayor’s expanded Super Summer Recreation Program. Residents can call the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department at 847-448-8237 for more information on these programs and how to apply.
Greenwood Street, Lee Street and Lighthouse beaches are accessible to people with disabilities. Smoking is not permitted on Evanston’s public beaches.
Beach locations are listed from north to south:
Lighthouse Beach – Central Street at Sheridan Road (2611 Sheridan Road)
Clark Street Beach – Clark Street at Sheridan Road (1811 Sheridan Road)
Dog Beach – Church Street at the lakefront (1631 Sheridan Road)
Greenwood Street Beach – Greenwood Street at the lakefront (1401 Sheridan Road)
Lee Street Beach – Lee Street and Lake Shore Boulevard (1111 Lake Shore Boulevard)
South Boulevard Beach – South Boulevard at the lakefront (525 Sheridan Square)
The Dog Beach is open weather permitting, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. April through November. Admission packets can be found on the City of Evanston’s website. Admission is restricted to dog-owners or handlers with a dog beach pass. Passes are $60 for residents with 60201 and 60202 area codes only and $120 for nonresidents.
Written proof of an examination within the past year must be available for each dog for any communicable diseases. The dog must also be currently licensed in Evanston or there must be proof that the dog is licensed by the local government where the dog’s owner lives. Contact the City of Evanston at 847-448-4311 or Cook County Animal Control with questions
For safety reasons, the City of Evanston will close the water for swimming and sometimes also close the beach area. Status updates on the beaches may be found on the beach status page at www.cityofevanston.org/beachstatus and on the COEBeach Twitter page. The City of Evanston website also allows people to sign up for mobile phone text alerts and for email notifications of beach status.
Doug Gaynor, Director of Parks,
Recreation and Community Services for the City, says the Evanston Health Department tests the water for E. coli every day first thing in the morning, around 6 a.m. or 7 a.m.
It used to take 24 hours to determine if the level was safe or not, but now the time has been reduced and they know the level by around noon or 1 p.m., Mr. Gaynor said.
Thanks to a new study, they can now project the E. coli level based on weather conditions, Mr. Gaynor said. E. coli related beach closings can be predicted.
Evanston has two boat launch facilities, the Church Street Power Boat Ramp and the Dempster Street Launch Facility. The Boat Launch Information Packet can be found on the City of Evanston’s website.
According to the City of Evanston’s website, as of April 24, all Dempster racks are sold out except for single-hull sailboats.
Daily sailing boats and kayaks may be rented by the hour by an adult at the Dempster Street Beach Office. Rentals can be made on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through June 14.
From June 15 through Labor Day, weekday rentals start at 3:30 p.m. and the watercraft must be in by 7:30 p.m. Weekend rentals start at 11 a.m. and the watercraft must be in by 7 p.m.
Kayak rentals start at $25/hour for Evanston residents and $35/hour for nonresidents. Stand Up Paddleboard rentals start at $25/hour for residents and $35/hour for nonresidents. Barnett, Laser, Sunfish or Force 5 sailboat rentals start at $30/hour for residents and $40/hour for nonresidents; Hobie 16 foot and 420 sailboat rentals start at $50/hour for residents and $60/hour for nonresidents.
Evanston residents can also pay $275 for 15 one-hour rentals, with a maximum of two hours on a single day. Nonresident fee is $375. Unlimited rental, with a maximum of two hours on a single day, is $600 for residents and $800 for nonresidents. At least 24 hours advance notice is needed in order to use a punch pass or season pass.
The Evanston Recreation Division also offers lessons in sailing and kayaking on Lake Michigan. Lessons start at Dempster Street Beach for people aged 14 and older. For more information, people can call the Beach Office at 847-866-4167 during the season or 847-866-2913 during preseason.
The Dempster Street Beach office is located aty 1251 Lake Shore Blvd., where Dempster Street meets the lake. Call 847-859-7822 for information. The office is open seven days a week 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. through Sept. 2.
The Clark Street Beach office is located on 1811 Sheridan Road, where Clark Street meets the lake. The office is open from May 25 through June 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. and from June 15 through Labor Day from 10:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.