Coronavirus

Texas State Parks Close at End of Day Today

The state parks of Texas close today.
The state parks of Texas close today. Photo by Margaret Downing
Gov. Abbott has decided safety trumps recreational yearnings and has ordered the state parks of Texas to close their gates as of end of business today.  Would-be visitors will have to take their hopes of hikes, bikes, jogs, walks, fishing and wildlife viewing elsewhere.

It just got too tough for park personnel to police visitors to make sure they were maintaining social distancing amid coronavirus concerns.

"Difficulty in ensuring compliance with social distancing, problems in maintaining adequate supplies and keeping park facilities sufficiently sanitized are only a few of the challenges encountered by state park staff," a just released statement from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says.

“Given the myriad of challenges and heightened risks of operating the parks at this time, we believe this is the best course of action right now in order to meet the health and safety expectations the state has set out for the citizens of Texas,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD. “All state parks will remain temporarily closed until public health and safety conditions improve. During the closure, staff will continue to steward and care for the parks to ensure they can be immediately reopened to visitors at the appropriate time.”

Day passes purchased through the online reservation system will be refunded. Group and facility reservations have been cancelled through April 30.The parks department will announce when a definite reopening date has been determined.

Questions regarding reservations can be emailed to customer.service@tpwd.texas.gov. 
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing