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Makeover of Round Island Park means no lifeguards for 2 weeks

STORY BY LISA ZAHNER (Week of July 6, 2023)

The oceanside portion of Round Island Park at the southern end of 32963 will be closed from July 18 through Aug. 1 for a quarter-million dollars  og improvements in parking and landscaping.

Pedestrians will still have access to the beach from the western portion of the park, but no lifeguards will be on duty during renovations. While the parking area is getting an overhaul, county workers will also be removing invasive exotic plant species and installing native vegetation at the park.

“Round Island Oceanside Park is one of our most popular beach parks. This year it is getting a makeover with new paved parking, exotics removal, native landscaping, and soon there will be a new playground,” said Indian River County Parks and Recreation Director Beth Powell.

After the new parking surface and pavers are laid, the oceanside park will be closed for another week in August for striping. Those dates have not been determined, as it depends upon the curing time of the paved surface.

“Unfortunately, there is no good time to close our beautiful beach parks.¬† With the year-round visitation and gorgeous weather, beach access never takes a holiday, but we know these improvements will make this beloved beach even more enjoyable for all who visit for years to come,” said Powell.

The new playground is budgeted at $150,000, bringing the total improvements to the park to roughly $400.000. Construction of the playground is currently out for bid, with proposals due on July 19. After the contract is awarded on Aug. 15, site preparation work for the playground should commence sometime in September.

Powell said Round Island Oceanside Park did not receive significant storm damage from last summer’s hurricanes. “The improvements are part of an overall budgeted improvement plan for the park,” she said.