These fake fall days have been swell, but Austin's temperatures are predicted to be back in the high 80s next week. Luckily for the four-legged among us, Austin Parks and Recreation Department is reopening the Barton Creek Spillway, aka Barking Springs, along with a host of other facilities closed due to COVID-19.
The changes, note a release, were made in conjunction with Austin Public Health. With Austin now in Stage 3 of its COVID-19 risk-based guideline chart, it was determined the facilities could safely reopen.
Before we go forward, let us remind you that Barking Springs received international attention after photos went viral showing hoards of Austinites gathering during the early days of the pandemic. Let's learn our lesson this time, okay?
Okay. Moving on.
The Barton Creek Spillway will reopen on Saturday, September 12, along with the following PARD-run amenities:
- Disc golf courses
- Neighborhood tennis courts
- Outdoor adult exercise equipment (playgrounds remain closed)
- Emma Long Metropolitan Park campsites
Additionally, Sunshine Camp and Girl Scout Cabin are also opening September 12, but must operate with limited capacity.
Along with these amenities, PARD is also allowing the return of group outdoor fitness classes. Barry's Bootcamp-ers and CrossFit fanatics can now return to city parks, as can approved small groups of 10 or less who are hosting events such as group plantings.
A release notes that this is, of course, subject to change (like everything in this pandemic). If Austin can stay at Stage 3 or lower, the facilities can remain open. So let's keep doing what we're doing, and for goodness' sake, don't gather at Barking Springs.