HUMBOLDT PARK — The beach is back!
Overcast skies didn't stop some of the first beachgoers from entering the brand new shores of the Humboldt Park Beach Friday.
The beach, which had been closed for more than a year, reopened Friday morning after a few days of filling the man-made swimming hole.
Lifeguards were on both the shore and in boats patrolling the new inland beach.
“We are so excited about this weekend” said Amy Vega, Humboldt Park Advisory Council President. “So many people have been a part of this process, that it truly brought the Humboldt Park community closer."
Humboldt Park resident Maria Llanos was one of the first people to visit Friday afternoon.
She brought her two children after getting a call from a friend that the beach was finally back open.
"I was waiting for a whole year for this," Llanos said.
Llanos, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 10 years, said she plans on bringing her kids back to swim for the rest of the summer.
"I go to Montrose (beach), but it's really far," she said. "This is great for us in the neighborhood."
Swimmers play in the water at the new Humboldt Park Beach Friday afternoon. [DNAinfo/Paul Biasco]
Neighborhood residents fought for the past year to get the beach reopened, organizing protests and voicing support at Chicago Park District meetings.
Upon learning of the beach reopening, representatives from Save the Humboldt Park Beach Committee wrote a letter to park district officials explaining their prior frustration and thanking them for bringing the beach back.
"It means so much that the Chicago Park District kept their word to the community," Vega said. "Even with an aggressive project timeline, bad weather, and a state budget impasse, they still managed to keep their word and open the beach this year”.
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