San Marcos river parks to close next Thursday due to COVID-19 surge

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases has led city leaders to prevent large gatherings of people near waterways

San Marcos River. Photo courtesy SMwatershedinitiative.org.

SAN MARCOS – The City of San Marcos announced Friday that it will be closing its river parks at 8 p.m. on June 25.

The city’s dog park, skate park, and natural areas will remain open, but visitors should observe Centers for Disease Control recommendations on social distancing and wear masks, the city announced in a press release.

Mayor of San Marcos Jane Hughson said the closure stems from a recent surge in lab-confirmed positive cases.

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“We have witnessed our City’s case count skyrocket over the last week,” Hughson said in a press release. “By preventing large gatherings of recreational visitors in nearby parks, we are doing our part to ensure our local health organizations don’t exceed capacity in treating seriously ill patients. Our Council supports staff as they continue efforts to keep our community safe and keep people from becoming sick.”

The following parks will be closed until further notice as of 8 p.m. on June 25:

San Marcos River Parks: Rio Vista Park, City Park, San Marcos Plaza Park, Juan Veramendi Park, Bicentennial Park, Children’s Park, Crook Park, Dog Beach, Cape’s Dam, Thompson’s Island, Stokes Park, Ramon Lucio Park and Wildlife Annex/Wilderness Park.

Other Park Facilities Remaining Closed: Children’s Park Playscape, City Park Playground, tennis courts, all neighborhood park playgrounds and neighborhood park basketball courts. Rio Vista pool will remain closed.

Additionally the city reports that all public restroom facilities and water fountains in all city parks and natural areas will remain closed until further notice.

The city announced that natural areas in the city will remain open at this time, but visitors should practice social distancing, remaining at least six feet away from other persons, between individuals not in their own household and to wear masks if visitors are unable to do so.

Visitors are prohibited from gathering in groups of more than five people. The following natural areas remain open: Blanco Shoals Natural Area; Prospect Park Natural Area; Purgatory Creek Natural Area; Ring Tail Ridge Natural Area; Schulle Canyon Natural Area; Sessom Creek Natural Area; and Spring Lake Natural Area.

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The cit reports that most closed park areas will be marked with signage and chain link fencing. People violating these parks closures are subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and possible arrest on charges of criminal trespass if a person refuses to leave after being warned to do so by a peace officer, the city said in a press release.

City officials also reported that in collaboration with the City’s efforts, the Lion’s Club Tube Rental will also close on at 8 p.m. on June 25. The Hays County Veterans Memorial will remain accessible, but river access from behind the memorial will be restricted, according to the city.

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