~ The city, in partnership with the UW Oshkosh Biology department, is now monitoring the beach 1-2 times per week for levels of bacterial. The result? This beach has some of the lowest levels of E Coli bacteria in the county. Steps that the city has taken to reduce nesting bird populations and discourage year-round residency of geese may be paying off. Further, steps taken to improve the storm sewer system help to reduce the possible needs to discharge untreated waste into the lake (think Milwaukee). Further, swimmers are notified that the beach is tested and will be closed when potentially unsafe levels are found, with all results readily available from a link on the city's Sustainability website and the Parks website. You won't find that degree of improvement on many other inland beaches in the state.
~ The beach is pretty well maintained. New sand is brought in each year, which is huge (and much appreciated)! Further, the sand is regularly combed and cleaned. The beach house is a significant asset to any urban beach setting, and the condition of Oshkosh's beach house is pretty good. The result is that the city is demonstrating a superior level of management and care of a facility that is generally very hard to manage and care for due to the high level of use, the prevalence of unsupervised adolescents, and the nature of public outdoor facilities.
~ The beach provides a free, outdoor activity for thousands of families each summer. Many of the elder folks in Oshkosh remember a time when the beach was the place to go during hot summer days, with life guards and endless rows of visitors. But if you visit today, you will still see a great diversity of interesting families and individuals having fun swimming, catching some sun, throwing some disc, and relaxing in one of the finer spaces of our city.
Of course, improvements can be made.
+ Swimmers, fishers, boaters, and environmentalists all want to continually see water quality improvement. In fact, every report concerning quality of life and the Wisconsin business environment suggests that presence of quality water is huge. You'll also find water quality as a highlighted goal in almost all city language, including the comprehensive plan, most citizen surveys, and the community's 2013 goals for our water system.
+ Shoreline restoration will help to improve our water quality, as well as improve the fish habitat, as well as deter geese from along the shoreline, as well as improve the beauty of the shoreline, as well as reduce the unnecessary labor spent mowing and edging along the shoreline. This too is listed through municipal language. It is like there is a mandate that is just dangling in front of the city's nose.
+ Landscaping can turn the worst of areas into interesting and attractive islands. For a few hundred dollars, the area South of the beach could benefit greatly from a bit of landscaping. Maybe around the beach house too. This would further demonstrate the pride that the city has in maintaining their facilities and improving the health and beauty of our city.