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 two years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Su


MOST RECENT

Austin City Hall was one of several downtown buildings to get vandalized during June's protests against police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Latest Austin police budget proposal seeks compromise, longer-term commitment to transformational change

The effort to make significant changes to the Austin Police Department has been met with clashing interests.

A green virus graphic
Travis County health authority tells residents to 'stay the course' as cases plateau

Austin Public Health reported 273 new cases Aug. 5, higher than the seven-day moving average of 218 daily confirmed COVID-19 cases. APH also confirmed 41 new hospital admissions of coronavirus.

A photo of a sign for Austin Java
Austin Java closes 3 locations in Austin and Dripping Springs

Austin Java's City Hall, Met Center and Dripping Springs locations will close.

In the last year, Whataburger launched a new, modern restaurant design and began offering curbside and delivery services for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release. (Courtesy Elizabeth James for Whataburger)
Whataburger to celebrate 70th anniversary, unveil food truck, expand into 3 states

Nine more new Whataburger locations are planned by year's end, and 35 new restaurants are proposed for 2021.

Dell Children's Medical Center announced its new pediatric heart transplant program July 31. (Courtesy Dell Children's Medical Center)
Dell Children's begins pediatric heart transplant program

The hospital says the new program means children and their families will no longer have to travel outside of Central Texas for complex heart transplant procedures.

The U.S. Census Bureau will halt its counting operation a month earlier than expected. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
U.S. Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected

The self-response deadline has moved up to Sept. 30.

Tumble 22 opened its Lake Austin restaurant in the former location of Magnolia Cafe on July 16. (Courtesy Tumble 22)
Downtown Austin news: Tumble 22 opens Lake Austin location, BookPeople celebrates 50 years and more

Find the latest news updates from the downtown area, including Lonesome Dove offering a new, casual takeout concept and the executive director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra announcing his retirement.

Austin ISD could vote to delay the start of the school year until Sept. 8. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD could delay its first day of school until Sept. 8

Austin ISD will vote at a special meeting Aug. 6 to possibly delay the start of the coming school year.

A teal virus graphic
Austin Public Health confirms 36 new coronavirus hospitalizations, 335 cases

For the fifth day in a row, Austin area hospitals have reported fewer than 40 average daily COVID-19 admissions.

D-BAT, an indoor baseball and softball training facility, opened June 26 in Cedar Park. (Courtesy D-BAT)
Business updates from Cedar Park, Leander; Fat City pop-up to open in Austin: News from Central Texas

Read the most recent business and community news from the Austin area.