Updated APril 17
Governor Greg Abbot Has Announced that all State Parks will reopen on Monday, April 20, with a few restrictions still in place: Visitors must wear masks and can't gather in groups larger than five people.
Governer Greg Abbott has ordered all Texas State Parks to close to the public at the end of today, April 7, in an effort to protect public health and safety. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will announce a reopening date when it seems appropriate do so, based on public health recommendations.
It’s no surprise that Texans love to get outdoors. Our one true joy during all this is going for a walk outside, but we need to do so closer to home, people. Apparently, the state park system hosted nearly 740,000 day and overnight visitors throughout the month of March, even with restrictive visitor measures in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
That’s made it near-impossible for TPWD to comply with social distancing efforts, maintain supplies, and keep the park facilities sanitized. So now we must stay away.
While the parks are closed to the public, TPWD staff will still be working on routine maintenance, stewardship, and cleaning the site facilities.
All group and facility reservations have been cancelled until April 30, and folks with upcoming overnight reservations can get their money back. Same for day passes purchased through the reservation system (not the Texas State Parks Pass)—those will also be refunded. These cancelations will not be charged administrative fees, and will happen automatically. Customer Service Center agents are contacting customers in order of arrival date, so there is no need to call them.
Again, no word on when these parks might reopen, but more information can be found at TexasStateParks.org.
Wondering if you're allowed to head to our local parks? You are for now, though Mayor Sylvester Turner made this statement yesterday. So please, do not go out to a park that already looks too crowded to maintain the appropriate 6 feet of social distancing.
With our parks, we will be intentional about enforcing #socialdistancing.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 6, 2020
Last week, I asked @HPARD to take down the basketball goals & this past weekend, they have taken down volleyball nets.
Our parks have begun a monitoring program to not encourage recreational grouping.