In effort to manage crowds, Austin’s Barton Creek Greenbelt will require reservations for next 5 months

Officially closed since the July 4 weekend, Austin’s Barton Creek and Bull Creek greenbelts will reopen Aug. 8. (Courtesy Brent Hall/AccentAp.com)
Officially closed since the July 4 weekend, Austin’s Barton Creek and Bull Creek greenbelts will reopen Aug. 8. (Courtesy Brent Hall/AccentAp.com)

Officially closed since the July 4 weekend, Austin’s Barton Creek and Bull Creek greenbelts will reopen Aug. 8. (Courtesy Brent Hall/AccentAp.com)

Officially closed since the July 4 weekend, Austin’s Barton Creek and Bull Creek greenbelts will reopen Aug. 8; however, those who want to visit the Barton Creek Greenbelt, from Thursday through Sunday, will need to make a reservation ahead of time, park officials said.

The new requirement comes as the city continues to balance reopening amenities and curtailing the spread of the coronavirus, which has gripped the city since mid-March. In a press release sent out July 31, park officials said the reservation pilot program is an effort to manage crowd capacity at one of the city’s most popular outdoor amenities. The program could continue for five months, officials said.

Reservations will be free.

Raquel Dadomo, a spokesperson for the city’s parks department, said the city is not moving forward with reopening any other closed outdoor recreation amenities for now. Facilities such as pools, golf courses, and basketball and tennis courts, which have been shuttered since July 6, will remain closed until further notice, Dadomo said.

City Manager Spencer Cronk made the decision to close park amenities in a July 2 memo to City Council, just ahead of July 4 weekend, during a time when Travis County was seeing daily new confirmed coronavirus virus cases reach well above 500 and the daily new hospitalization rate inched toward 70. New cases and hospitalizations have been trending downward since mid-July. On July 30, Travis County saw 278 new confirmed cases, with a seven-day average of daily hospitalizations of 39.9.


Editor's note: This article has been updated to include the days when greenbelt visitors will need to make a reservation.
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


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