Garland Considers Blocking Popular Swimming Area

A shoreline along Lake Ray Hubbard, popular for swimming, could soon be off limits in Garland.

This week Garland city council members heard from the police department who said it is growing increasingly difficult to keep people safe at Windsurf Bay Park.

This past Memorial Day, they estimated 8,000 people used the park for lake access and they believe anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 would do the same this 4th of July.

“This park is not designed to handle the amount of overcrowding that has grown over the last couple of years,” said Lieutenant Pedro Barineau.

That is why they made the decision to close the park for the holiday. A temporary fence will be installed to block the water the week before, staying up through the holiday week.

It is intended to prevent swimmers from entering the water, which Garland says is not allowed by the City of Dallas, who owns Lake Ray Hubbard.

“Our officers have been out here when there have been hundreds of people in the water, boats whizzing by, zigzagging through the people in the water, going through the people to the shoreline. It’s not designed for that, and our biggest concern is the safety of our community,” said Barineau.

That is why the city will consider making that temporary fence permanent, if it proves successful in deterring swimmers.

That would put a stop to what’s become a summertime tradition for families like the Stones, who never realized swimming was prohibited at Windsurf Bay.

They drive from Mesquite as many as three times a week to let their girls swim.

“The local pools are overcrowded. Out here kids can be kids, you know. Have a good time,” said Ernie Stone.

The temporary fence will cost the city $5,000. There is no price tag yet on what a permanent fence would cost or an estimate on how long it would take to build.

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