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Northeast Times | December 2, 2022

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A Message From Our State Parks Director – Rodney Franklin

A Message From Our State Parks Director – Rodney Franklin

We hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.

Up until recently, most state parks have stayed open. Park employees across the state rose to the challenge of providing safe outdoor access to about 740,000 visitors in March. But as demand increased, following social distancing and sanitation guidelines became more difficult.

At the governor’s direction, we closed all Texas state parks. This was not a decision that was taken lightly, as we are honored to provide access to the outdoors for millions of Texans. However, the safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers is always a chief consideration for us.

The current crisis is not a state park problem or a Texas problem. It is much broader. It is now time for all of us to focus on doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We would love to continue helping Texans make memories and smiles when they need it most. However, I feel this temporary closure is prudent, given the current situation. 

Here are the steps we are taking:

  • All state parks are closed to the public. If you had a camping or day pass reservation in April, we will automatically refund the full amount of your booking. You do not need to contact our customer service center.
  • We have extended the term of Texas State Parks Passes by two months. This extension will happen automatically for any Texas State Parks Pass holder whose pass was active on April 7, 2020. You don’t need to take any action for this benefit.
  • We are not taking new reservations for any state park. This includes both day pass and overnight reservations.
  • Existing reservations for May and beyond are still valid but could be cancelled, depending on the situation. We will let you know if things change.
  • You may cancel your May reservation without cancellation fees. Contact our customer service center at (512) 389-8900 or by email.

While the parks are closed, we will be hard at work maintaining and improving our facilities and grounds.

On behalf of the Texas State Parks and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, we are looking forward to the day when we can welcome you back to your state parks. We’ll be ready when that time comes. Until then, I encourage you to find nature a little closer to home and enjoy springtime in Texas as best you can. Stay healthy and safe.