State parks, historical sites reopen as first step in Gov. Abbott's plan to revive Texas economy

State parks across Texas, including Pedernales Falls State Park (pictured here), reopened April 20 following Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to lift an order temporarily closing the parks earlier this month. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
State parks across Texas, including Pedernales Falls State Park (pictured here), reopened April 20 following Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to lift an order temporarily closing the parks earlier this month. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

State parks across Texas, including Pedernales Falls State Park (pictured here), reopened April 20 following Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to lift an order temporarily closing the parks earlier this month. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Just shy of two weeks after closing state parks and historical sites, Gov. Greg Abbott reopened most such locations April 20.

However, restrictions remain in place for parks visitors. Face coverings are required; visitors must maintain a 6-foot distance from people; and gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.

Abbott had ordered the parks closed effective April 7 at 5 p.m. The temporary closures were intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak by preventing large gatherings, Abbott said.

Reopening state parks and historical sites is the first part of Abbott’s phased plan to reopen the Texas economy, which he announced in an April 17 press conference.

"Texans are battling a colossal challenge—an invisible enemy that has tested our lives and our livelihoods—but overcoming challenges is part of who we are as Texans," Abbott said in a news release. "We have shown that Texas can continue our efforts to contain COVID-19 while also adopting safe standards that will allow us to begin the process of reopening Texas.”


Later this week, hospitals will be allowed to restart some elective surgeries, and nonessential retail stores will be allowed to offer curbside pickup, per the governor’s latest executive order.
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.