The San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau rolled out a marketing campaign in early March to inform people about new rules for city parks, including a ban on alcohol and styrofoam.
The campaign, www.keepalidonit.org, also informs people about the areas where they will be allowed to bring alcohol to and from the San Marcos River.
While most residents and visitors know about the city's alcohol ban, they have been less aware of other aspects of the new rules, said Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez, the bureau's executive director.
"The foam is what they're not aware of," Ybarra-Ramirez told City Council members on March 19. "Everyone assumes it's just an alcohol ban, but it's actually a foam ban as well."
Ybarra-Ramirez said there has also been some confusion over the difference between new rules in San Marcos and New Braunfels, which enacted a so-called "can ban" on the Comal River in 2012. Cans are not banned from the San Marcos River.
Rodney Cobb, director of community services for San Marcos, said that since many people access the San Marcos River through city parks—and alcohol is still allowed in the river—city officials are creating two access points so tubers can carry alcohol to and from the water without breaking the law.
People will be able to enter the river with alcohol at City Park, 170 Charles Austin Drive, and they will be able to exit the river at Rio Vista Park, 601 Cheatham St.
"We understand there's a lot of folks who are not going to know the rules," Cobb said. "We're not going to go in and start knocking them on the head and writing tickets and all that. We're going to explain the situation to them, explain what we're trying to do, and get them to voluntarily comply."
Using www.keepalidonit.org, the Convention and Visitor Bureau is highlighting four key points about the new rules.
- Keep a lid on your ice chest. Be sure to securely latch the lid both in the parks and on the river. Loose lids can cause your contents to spill and float downstream—ruining your day and the river, too.
- Keep a lid on your alcohol. Consumption and public display of alcohol is prohibited in all city parks. There are alcohol access points to the river so you may still bring refreshments along for your water activities.
- Keep a lid on your litter. Please dispose of trash properly. Recycling receptacles and trash cans are located throughout the park to make it easy. Remember, if you take it in the river, bring it back out again.
- Keep your Styrofoam at home. All Styrofoam is prohibited in the parks and on the river. This includes ice chests, cups, plates, toys and floats. Please use paper products or recyclable plastics for picnics.