The COVID-19 pandemic has kept many of us indoors since mid-March, so when Broome County opened its parks back in June, families couldn't wait to soak up the sun.

But after just one month of being opened, Dorchester Park was shut down, and not because of COVID-19.

Parks employees discovered algae blooms on the waterfront. 

"The blue-green algae can produce toxins, which makes it harmful, but it can be caused by any sort of environmental conditions or weather, or even the water temperature and things like that," said Rachael Hamlin, from the Broome County Health Department.

The park was immediately shut down as nature took its course.

"It was a bummer. We like coming up here every so often and to know that it was closed and that we weren’t able to come over here, we'd have to go to Chenango Valley or other ways," said Eric Petersen, a Broome County resident.

Broome County's Health Department then came in to take samples.

"We go out and we take pictures of the site when the algae is present, but then there's not a whole lot else we can do until the algae is cleared, and then after it's been cleared for about a day, then we can go and take a water sample," said Hamlin.

Finally, more than two weeks later, the water is now safe, and has been cleared by state officials.

And with the days of summer starting to countdown, families couldn't wait to get back on the beach.

"We're super excited to get back on the water, maybe rent a boat, maybe go swimming. The kids love it, my wife loves it. We're going to have a little picnic and have a little bit of dinner later so we're really excited that it's back open," said Petersen.

Cole and Greenwood Park were not impacted by algae blooms and remained open.