One of the side effects of COVID-19 seems to be whiplash — at least when it comes to Austin parks and trails being open.
Over the past few weeks, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has closed all city-run recreation amenities, everything from Barton Springs to golf courses. And though the Trail Foundation issued a release urging people to stay off the Butler Hike and Bike Trail, the news evoked some confusion, since the city hadn't actually closed any trails or green spaces.
That will change, however, beginning Thursday, April 9, to Monday, April 13, when the City of Austin will shutter all parks, trails, greenbelts. and preserves. The closures begin at sundown on Thursday through sunrise on Monday.
The city says the closures are being enacted to help curb the spread of COVID-19 amid the Easter and Passover holidays. Signage, gates, and park rangers will all be deployed to remind residents of the closures.
"[Austin Parks] historically sees an increase in visitors during the Easter holiday," the city said. "However, crowding in parks makes it challenging for visitors to comply with the physical distancing requirements issued with the Stay Home-Work Safe Order."
To be help the public stay up to date on the closures, the city offers an interactive map where users can see that status of public parks, trails, greenbelts, etc. If it is listed, consider it closed.
Previously, the city closed all city-run facilities, including all recreation centers, playgrounds, pools and aquatic facilities, tennis and basketball courts, and more.