Construction has started on a $5.2 million beach area renovation project at Southwick Beach State Park on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario.
The project will be the first major improvement to the popular beachfront park in 50 years. It will feature a new bathhouse and concession building as well as restored dunes and new “green” parking lots to enhance environmental protection at the park.
Southwick Beach State Park is the busiest day-use state park in the Thousand Island Region and boasts a 112-site campground. Current facilities are in need of upgrade as they no longer meet the needs of the park.
Upgraded features will include:
– New concession kitchen and camp store;
– Public Gathering Space with outdoor fireplace, patio area, walkways and three rental pavilions;
– New showers, changing areas, and restroom space with ADA and family access;
– Laundry room for patron use;
– Games arcade;
– New entrance drive and sidewalk/bike path connection to campsites; and
– Lifeguard and first aid station.
New parking lots will be installed with proper storm water systems, bio retention ponds, and a combination of standard asphalt pavement, porous pavement, reinforced grass paver parking, and overflow grass parking to filter pollutants from stormwater runoff and protect water quality.
The project will also construct an enhanced dune system to improve shoreline habitat and prevent erosion and blowing sand, and will include wood boardwalks and a treed day-use area.
The 540-acre park is known for swimming and sunning on its long sandy beach. More than 120,000 annual campers and day-users enjoy picnicking, hiking and games on the playing fields.
Funding for the project comes from Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 initiative and a $1 million grant from the Environmental Facilities Corporation. The Governor’s NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment of $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks to 2020.