As surely as azaleas and ice cream stands mark summer’s arrival on the Cape, the sudden crop of beach parking lot attendants and lifeguards herald Sandwich’s high season.
Parking attendants will start work at Town Neck Beach Friday to Sunday, June 1 to 3, and will collect a $15 fee from drivers seeking a spot. This will continue weekends only until June 29, when the attendants—and lifeguards—will be on duty seven days a week.
Attendants will be collecting money at the Boardwalk, Snake Pond, Oakcrest Cove and the Ryder Conservation Land beach parking lots, said recreation director Guy L. Boucher.
“The $15 fee is good for the whole day and can be used at any of the town beaches,” Mr. Boucher said. “You can also buy a week’s pass for $50, which is a good deal.”
Sandwich residents are also eligible to purchase a beach sticker for $35 that allows year-round entry to all town beaches. A sticker for a second household vehicle can be purchased for $20, according to the town website.
Bourne residents can also purchase a beach sticker for $35. Non-residents can purchase a sticker for $105.
The storm-damaged Boardwalk, currently under repair, is expected to be open by June 22.
Town Neck Beach, which was also badly damaged by winter storms, has been open for a couple of weeks, but some of its beach entry points have been closed due to erosion.
The department of natural resources is asking that visitors use the recently rebuilt Boardwalk stairs or a sand path near the parking lot entrance to access the beach. Both entry points are clearly marked, as are the closed pathways.
The Boardwalk has been closed since March. Until recently, Town Neck Beach and the beach parking lot had also been closed to the public since a severe northeaster in early March destroyed the beach stairs, ripped up the Boardwalk and sucked away millions of dollars worth of sand.
The beach’s erosion remains severe, with steep cliffs carved into the dune and very little walkable beach area when tides are high.
While repairs were underway this spring, natural resources department staff restored markers and posted signs to keep people off the remaining dunes and away from the nesting areas of endangered piping plovers.
Natural resources staff also placed metal posts and cable to mark the remaining dune.
David J. DeConto, director of the natural resources department, has said that all walking path areas will be clearly marked, as will the areas that are off limits. He asked that beachgoers obey the “Keep Off The Dune” signs.
Failure to stay off the protected areas will result in $200 fines, Mr. DeConto has said, adding that no dogs are allowed on the beach.