Pleasure Beach Lives is open for 2013!
Upcoming walks to Pleasure Beach include Sundays June 23, July 28 (note new date change), & August 25. All walks are free and open to the public. On August 25, UB Biology Professor Dr. Kitty Engelmann will guide the walk, discussing local plant life. But if we're lucky she'll be tagging along on the other walks as well, furthering her field research. Join us!
burned in 1996. Since then, it has grown wild with piping plovers, osprey, cacti, turtles, deer, rabbits and foxes, while the existing structures left from its amusement park / public beach days have deteriorated into a living ruins. Today's Pleasure Beach is spectacular, and it is accessible by foot at all tides via Stratford's ruggedly beautiful Long Beach.Pleasure Beach, a large terminus of a narrow barrier beach peninsula in Stratford, has belonged to Bridgeport for nearly a century. The bridge that connected it to the Bridgeport mainland
Every month from April through October, Pleasure Beach Lives hosts a walk out to Pleasure Beach, touring the burned bridge, assorted architectural ruins, and of course, the wildly spectacular beach. This walk is about 4 miles, takes about 2.25 hours, and much of it is over loose sand, rubble, and uneven terrain. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes.
Whether you've been to Pleasure Beach just once recently or went every summer as a child, it will come as no surprise that lots of folks have deep attachments to it, and many have found it inspirational.
History of Pleasure Beach
Report from Pleasure Beach
Pleasure Beach Community Meeting
Pleasure Beach Master Plan
Overtaking the LBW Cottages
Photography by Rob Dobi
Photography by Michelle Beaulieu
Save Pleasure Beach
Friends of Pleasure Beach
Pleasure Beach Lives
directions & info) on your own, or join us on one of our monthly walks. However, be sure to leave any four-legged friends at home. In order to protect endangered shorebirds, dogs are not allowed on the beach from April through November.You can walk to Pleasure Beach along the lovely two miles of Stratford's Long Beach (
Don't have a car to drive to Long Beach? Take the bus to Lordship Blvd (route 113) and ride your bike on 113 North through the marsh to Lordship; turn right on Oak Bluff Ave, which dead-ends into the Long Beach parking lot.
Prefer to travel by sea? We've noticed folks arrive at Pleasure Beach by kayak, boat or jet ski. If you're paddling you can row right up to shore, but if your boat is larger there's a dock on the west side of the island.
Is this legal, you're wondering? Long Beach is a public park, open to all: just mind the roped-off nesting habitats. (When the LBWest cottages were still up, it WAS illegal to go near them, although the park itself remained open. This has caused some lasting confusion.) Pleasure Beach is technically a closed park, but remember that coastal-access is guaranteed by state law, so if you stay below the high tide mark you are on open land.
We're artists committed to affecting positive change on Pleasure Beach. We believe that the best way to affect change is through taking small actions, now.
Pleasure Beach has become unique and astonishing through its isolation. In an already stunning urban seaside setting, 16 years of inaccessibility has allowed nature to reclaim its rather grand architectural ruins. Its current state of decay, so emblematic of Bridgeport, has transformed Pleasure Beach into Park City's meta-park.
While we find it uncanny and astonishing, we don't wish to preserve quite this state of Pleasure Beach. We'd like the park to be cleared of hazards and debris. We'd like public access (by boat) from Bridgeport restored. We'd like to see the 1996 bathhouse rehabilitated and its bathrooms made operational. But we'd like any new built amenities kept to an absolute minimum. We'd like to keep Pleasure Beach wild. We believe Pleasure Beach is an opportunity for residents and visitors to explore and experience a rare moment of solitude and post-human wilderness within Bridgeport city limits. From viewing the City's master plan, we believe that Bridgeport agrees. But Bridgeport has other problems, and reconnecting people to this park appears to be continuously deprioritized. That's where we step in.
While we don't have the means or resources to restore infrastructure, we do have the capacity to organize walks and guided tours. Our goals are to sustainably reconnect folks to Pleasure Beach, and to galvanize responsible civic stewardship for this place that we love.