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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Montrose Dog Beach Gets New Fencing After Lake, Sand Buries Former Barrier

The fence will again create a barrier from the dog and people beaches at Montrose Harbor, after the last one was buried by sand and swallowed by the lake.

Iron workers Mike Martocci (l.) and Ethan Paul install new fencing at Montrose Dog Beach Tuesday, May 19.
Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
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UPTOWN — After a rising Lake Michigan and shifting sand drifts battered parts of the Montrose Dog Beach, the popular lakefront attraction is getting new fencing.

Crews are installing fencing around the perimeter of Montrose Dog Beach this week. It replaces fencing buried by sand and mangled by the lake.

The shifting lakefront geography virtually eliminated barricades between the dog beach and the people beach at Montrose Harbor in early 2020. But the lakefront destination was closed for much of the year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new fencing to section off the beaches will be taller than the previous one to ensure it is not as easily engulfed by sand, a Park District spokesperson said.

“It’s definitely been much needed since sand shifts and buries the fence,” said Shelly Burke, board member of MonDog PAC, the park advisory council that cares for the dog beach.

Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
After the previous fence was buried and mangled by sand, the Montrose Dog Beach will get a new fence.

Shifting sands have buried other dog beach infrastructure, including benches, and has made it easy for dogs to escape. The new fencing extends around portions of the beach facing the park and streets.

RELATED: Montrose Dog Beach Looks Like A ‘Hellscape” As The Rising Lake Swallows It, But Officials Hope To Save It

The fence is going up in roughly the same area as the old one, so the dog beach will not expand. Some officials and park advocates were hoping to extend the fence south into the people beach to make up for beachfront lost to the lake.

Mutt Jackson, the business that offers pet washes at the dog beach, has reopened its services. It has also added a solar panel and will add a fourth washing station this summer, Burke said.

In other changes to the area, people driving their dogs to the beach will have to pay for parking near the amenity starting Friday, when pay-to-park meters will come online at Montrose Harbor.

Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
Walley the dog runs around at Montrose Dog Beach, where a fence separating the dog and people beaches is buried in sand.

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