ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. Many state and county parks and beaches officially open for the season.

Jamesville Beach Park in Onondaga County can be added back to the list. It’s the first time the beach has been open for swimming since the beginning of the pandemic.

The closure in both 2020 and 2021 was due to staffing shortages, specifically with lifeguards.

Luckily, the Onondaga County Parks Department has hired enough lifeguards this year to staff both Jamesville Beach and Oneida Shores.

Before, we had just the Oneida Shores open which is in Cicero, a northeastern suburb on the edge of the county. Now, we have some geographical balance when you think about different opportunities for kids and families…We’re pleased.

(R) RYAN MCMAHON, ONONDAGA COUNTY EXECUTIVE

County Parks Commissioner, Brian Kelley, said staffing levels right now are solid, but they’re still trying to hire, train and recruit more lifeguards for the season.

“We’d like our staff as robust as possible for several reasons. 1) We want to have as many skilled lifeguards on staff as possible but also as a feeder program. We like to get guards in at a young age and work them through our programs to stay with us. That makes the best program available.”

BRIAN KELLEY, ONONDAGA COUNTY PARKS COMMISSIONER

If you enjoy the sunshine and being by the water, the Onondaga County Parks Department is hosting another training session for anyone interested in becoming a lifeguard.

The training is from Monday, June 13 to June 17 at Nottingham high school.

County Executive McMahon also announced “Senior Freebie Fridays.” Anyone 62 and older can go to any county park for free every Friday.

For Jamesville Beach Park hours of operation, click here. Oneida Shores hours can be found here.