One of my favorite parks to enjoy year-round is Gilbert Lake State Park, tucked away outside of Laurens, NY. If you haven't been there in a while, you'll be happy to hear that park staff have been working hard on improvements to the park this past year. All roads have been repaved, there's a new playground on loop C of Deer Run, and many trees have been taken out from the Deer Run camping area for safety and to open it up more.

As much as all those improvements are fantastic, a staffing shortage will have a negative impact on the availability of swimming at the park. Yesterday, an announcement was made on the Gilbert Lake State Park Facebook page that because the recruitment efforts of summer lifeguards at the swimming area did not go as well as they had hoped, Gilbert Lake will have to reduce the number of days for swimming and boat rentals from 7 to 5 this summer. Park officials say that the two days that the beach will closed are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which are the least busy during the week.

If you are looking forward to using the Gilbert Lake beach, you will be happy that it will be open this Memorial Day Weekend (May 28/29/30) from 11a-7p. From that point and up to June 18th, swimming and boat rentals will be available on weekends only. Starting June 19, the five-day schedule will be put into place through the rest of the summer.

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It's too bad that such a beautiful park cannot be utilized fully every day of the week during the summer but it's clear that the park's staffing shortage is just another side effect of the times we're in. Staffing shortages are everywhere. We all know the many impacts COVID-19 has had on lives everywhere and it sure likes we're in it for the long haul.

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