With temperatures climbing into the 80’s of late, Wellesley has been attempting to help residents stay cool despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s best efforts to spoil typical spring and summer activities.
While the town has already announced that it will be a lifeguard-less summer at Morses Pond beach due to the many challenges of managing the facility like usual, town officials from the Recreation Department, Health Department and others groups are working to come up with a plan that might at least satisfy a good chunk of residents.
While details have yet to be ironed out, the town is exploring the possibility of carving the beachfront into a grid in which residents only can reserve spots and time blocks. This would help the town manage numbers on the beach, which would be swim at your own risk in that section, as it has been on other sections of the pond for years. No frills will mean no grills or picnic tables, and a handful of park rangers will roam around to make sure people are complying with safety rules. (Update: 6/5/20: The town has instructed residents to hit up the Recreation website for more details as they become available.)
Separately, Wellesley Housing Authority Executive Director Sean Barnicle recently had to play the bad guy by informing public housing residents that they had to get rid of their kiddie pools, a serious liability for the town. But now he gets to play the good guy by informing residents that the Wellesley COVID-19 Relief Fund has splurged for 40 splash pads/sprinkler mats to help safely cool off public housing residents and others in need.
Meanwhile, the town is trying to get its head around shifting state protocols related to pool use by camps and others during the reopening of Massachusetts. Earlier in the week it appeared indoor pool use would not be allowed in the foreseeable future, but later in the week that changed if pool operators follow certain rules, such as not allowing contact during swim lessons. Wellesley outfits with pools like Boston Sports Institute are itching to reopen facilities closed for the past few months.