As State Parks Close, Texans Urged To Enjoy Nature Closer To Home

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s executive director says the parks were busy in March, which threatened the health of park workers and small and rural communities.

By Jill AmentApril 8, 2020 11:51 am, , ,

All Texas state parks and historical sites are temporarily closed because of COVID-19.

Carter Smith is executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He says the decision to close the parks is in line with what the rest of the state is doing to protect public health. The closures are especially important for smaller and rural communities. Smith says the large majority of parks are in those areas, and the health of those communities is at risk when visitors travel from urban areas and out of state.

“At this juncture, we’re all being encouraged to stay close to home and practice safe social distancing,” Smith says.

He encourages people to visit parks and nature closer to home. (Note: Some Texas cities are closing parks for Easter weekend to limit the spread of COVID-19.)

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How large park crowds in March influenced TPWD’s decision to temporarily close state parks

– How park staff were concerned about contracting COVID-19

– What the long-term implications are for Texas state parks


Written by Caroline Covington.