Special Projects

Vermilion Beach Restoration

A New Vision for Vermilion's Main Street Beach

Only 20 percent of Ohio’s lakefront property along Lake Erie is open for public access. Protecting this precious asset is critical for equitable access to Ohio’s signature natural resource.

On any summer day, hundreds of people from nearby and abroad can be seen enjoying the sights, sounds and sun at Vermilion’s Main Street Beach. It is a unique public attraction that makes Vermilion such a special place. Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the City of Vermilion are working together to improve the beach and surrounding area with a beach expansion, public park, improved infrastructure and parking, and much more.

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Protecting Natural Resources and Creating Public Access

Our plan calls for ADA accessible paths and a public comfort station for visitors and locals alike. A large park will allow for special seasonal events and a proposed new launch will draw in canoers and kayakers from all around. The beach will become the anchor for an improved downtown center, where businesses and other amenities will benefit from tourism dollars.

A Space Designated for Public Use

An investment in this project ensures that the Main Street Beach will be more convenient and enjoyable for residents and visitors, securing a solid future for Vermilion. By acquiring and conserving additional lakefront property that was in private ownership, the Land Conservancy guarantees that this strategically-located property will not be at risk of future development.
Project Details

The Land Conservancy, the City and other local partners anticipate the cost to realize all elements of the redevelopment at approximately $2.5 million.

Demolition of the Inland Seas Museum property and complete land preparation needed to create greenspace

When the City acquired the lakefront property next to Main Street Beach, it came with a large old building previously occupied by the Inland Seas Museum. Though the original intent of the City and the Parks Board was to save the building, with many years spent exhausting all efforts to do so, the museum fell into asbestos-laden disrepair and become a public liability. At least $5.5 million would have been needed to make the building viable again, without a compelling purpose. Demolition of this building was completed in the spring of 2021, creating a spectacular view of Lake Erie that has not been seen in over 100 years.
Acquire land to expand Vermilion Main Street Beach

The city purchased several parcels in preparation for building a public restroom and comfort station facility, as well as increased parking for beachgoers. Completed Fall 2022.
The beach’s first ever permanent comfort station facility

In a 2011 public use survey, the residents of Vermilion clearly stated a restroom as the primary need at the Main Street Beach. A single portable toilet currently serves the hundreds of daily beachgoers. The site of a previously acquired and conserved property along Main Street Beach will be used as the site for the new public restroom and comfort station. In addition to restroom facilities, the comfort station will also feature a proposed foot wash station and concession area. Completed Winter 2022.
ADA parking lot and beach boardwalk connecting the comfort station to the park

In addition to the need for restroom facilities, the public use survey also indicated a strong desire for additional parking. Better handicap-accessible parking will also provide easy access to the new restroom/comfort station and connect to the existing and proposed boardwalk area.
Park planning and design renderings

Partnering with greenspace planning experts and the community ensures that our collective vision for the Main Street Beach becomes reality in the most efficient and advantageous way.
Park improvements

Planned park improvements will also include vital shoreline revetment to control lakefront erosion. Revetments are used as a solution for coastal erosion defense in areas where crashing waves may otherwise deplete the coastline. Shoreline revetment is currently proposed west of the swimming beach, extending in front of the historic lighthouse where the new park will be installed. Cost: $250,000 – $500,000, $250,000 in funding secured so far. To contribute please contact the Land Conservancy today.
Roadwork and increased parking

Roadwork will include a wider road along Main Street from Huron Street to Main Street Beach. This work will include increased parking on both sides, improved drainage and a turnaround to make dropoff with all of your beach essentials a breeze. Anticipated to be complete by 2024.
Support the Restoration of the Beach

Please make a gift to the Main Street Beach Revitalization effort today! By helping to make this vision a reality, you are promoting outdoor recreation for both physical and mental health, protecting the beautiful natural resource we have in Lake Erie, as well as increasing civic pride and Vermilion’s historic nautical character.