DEM’s Parks and Beaches Ready For Memorial Day Weekend
Beach Parking Fees Remain Unchanged From Previous Years
PROVIDENCE – Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer outdoor recreation season, and Rhode Island’s state parks and beaches are ready for the crowds. Although some of the parks and beaches managed by the Department of Environmental Management have been open on a limited basis this month to accommodate early beach-goers and advance season pass sales, the Memorial Day weekend is when DEM recreational areas go into high gear.
Scarborough North, Salty Brine, East Matunuck, Roger Wheeler, Charlestown Breachway, East Beach, and Misquamicut state beaches will be open daily, weather permitting, beginning this Saturday, May 24. Scarborough South and the beaches at the Burlingame picnic area and campground in Charlestown will be open weekends-only until June 21st, and daily thereafter until Labor Day. The beaches at Goddard Memorial State Park and Lincoln Woods State Park will be open on a daily basis, weather permitting, beginning Saturday.
The daily beach parking fee for Rhode Island residents is $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. The non-resident beach parking fee is $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends and holidays. A season pass is $30 for Rhode Island residents and $60 for non-residents. Seniors age 65 and older receive half-price rates, and, as always, freshwater beaches at state parks remain free of charge for all.
Parking fees are based solely upon the registration (i.e., license plate) of each car entering the beach facilities. All RI-registered vehicles will be subject to resident rates for parking (daily and seasonal); all other vehicles without Rhode Island plates will be subject to the non-resident rates (daily and seasonal). The regulations define vehicle as any street legal equipment, motorized or non-motorized, properly registered for over the road travel.
The Department is asking for the participation of all beach-goers in the voluntary program to help keep our beaches smoke-free, clean, healthy, and safe. Cigarettes are the number one source of litter on beaches. They can also sicken children and wildlife that may ingest butts left in the sand, thinking they are food. And a still-smoldering butt can cause a burn, if stepped on with bare feet.
DEM maintains a “carry-in carry-out” policy at all state parks and beaches, which is made simple for visitors through the availability of small “Keep RI Clean” trash bags that are handed out at entrance booths at most facilities; in day-use parks without entrance booths, the bags are available at rest rooms, dispenser boxes, and offices. Staff hand out 300,000 to 400,000 bags each year through this program.
Visitors are also reminded that for reasons of public health, no animals are allowed on any state bathing beach between April 1 and September 30. This includes after-hours.
DEM is still accepting applications for qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. Entry level and senior lifeguard positions are available. Lifeguard positions all require certification and special training in first aid, CPR, and senior lifesaving. Information about DEM and all lifeguard and seasonal positions, as well as a downloadable application form is available online at DEM’s website at www.dem.ri.gov. Applications should be filled out completely. Applicants can also visit or call DEM’s Office of Human Resources at 235 Promenade Street, Room 350, Providence, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or call 222-2775, ext. 4602.
Using equipment purchased for DEM by the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, DEM’s Division of Parks and Recreation will continue to issue photo identification passes for people who are eligible under certain disability rules for free parking at state beaches. Fees will be waived for any vehicle in which a driver or passenger shows the photo ID. The photo identification pass will also allow disabled patrons to have the greens fee waived when playing golf at Goddard Memorial State Park, although they will be charged for equipment rentals, if any.
Anyone receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is eligible, as is anyone receiving Veterans Benefits who is 100 percent disabled through a service-connected disability. Eligible individuals under age 65 must apply for a pass on an annual basis, while those 65 and over are eligible for a lifetime pass. Specific documentation is necessary to receive the ID.
The pass can be obtained any weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the headquarters of DEM’s Division of Parks and Recreation at 2321 Hartford Avenue in Johnston. However, individuals are encouraged to call DEM Parks and Recreation headquarters at 222-2632 prior to visiting the office to verify documentation needed for the identification pass.