It may sound complicated, but the new system is intended to simplify and enhance the park district's ability to manage beach use and track people in case of emergencies, said Terry Schwartz, executive director of the Winnetka Park District.
No longer can a summer beach pass be shared among friends, reducing the park district's revenue, he
The beaches will be run like a business.
"People do pass around passes," Schwartz
acknowledged there have been some growing pains, but pointed to the district allowing people to use their own photos, and the extended hours on Saturday to get photos taken, as efforts to make the change more convenient.
"Whenever there's change, people rebut," Schwartz
"I don't get too panicky about it."
The photos are only required once every five years, he
In addition to helping the park district manage beach use, they're also useful to have on file in case of emergency.
If a child goes missing, for example, the park district will be able to determine exactly when and where they were last at one of the beaches.
Community swimming pools often use similar ID systems, Schwartz
"Why wouldn't we treat an even more dangerous environment with the same diligence that people treat swimming pools?
The park district will also be collecting data on beach use to assist in the crafting of a new lakefront master plan in the coming years, Schwartz