SAN MARCOS, Texas - After months of being shut down, residents of San Marcos will now have access to city parks again.
All public facilities, riverfront parks, neighborhood parks playgrounds, athletic complexes, and tennis and basketball courts were re-opened to the public on Wednesday.
Park visitors wasted no time taking advantage of the Rio Vista Park. Those visiting said it wasn’t just about being in the water, but the peace of mind they get when it comes to being outdoors.
The City of San Marcos first closed parks back in March. They were re-opened in May, but shut down again in June after a rising spike in COVID-19 cases. The city says they have now seen a decline in active cases and a low number of new cases with fewer hospitalizations; indicators that the city is ready to re-open these open spaces.
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“This is a good thing for us,” said April Guerrero, a park visitor. “It’s a good thing for the community. Everyone can kind of get back to the “norm.” Not really, but it’s something to start off with.”
James Espinosa is from Houston and said he decided to make the trip when he heard parks were re-opening. He said going all summer in Texas without having access to river-front parks wasn't ideal.
"Everybody loves nature, everybody loves being outside the house,” he said. “You gotta come outside and enjoy the sun, the grass, the rocks and the people all around"
Others agreed with Espinosa’s thought.
Brandon Williamson said being in quarantine, it was strange to see San Marcos, which is known for its parks and rivers, become a ghost town almost.
“It's weird to see everyone closed off from everyone, but I’m glad to be coming back and seeing all these people here," Williamson said.
Michael Williams was at the park with his son and said it was good to finally be back.
"There’s really been nowhere to swim, you can’t get out, it's been one of the hottest summers, we're just glad it's re-opened and glad to be here,” he said.
Community members adding, they'll do what they can to make sure these spots stay open
"I hope that everybody keeps their distance, everybody is picking up trash, stuff we should already be doing, not because of COVID but because it's the right thing to do," Guerrero said.
The City said they will continue to follow county and state COVID numbers to assess the facility and park rules.