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Beaches, Cameron County parks slowly begin to reopen

Traffic was light at Public Beach Access No. 5 at South Padre Island on April 26. Cameron County and South Padre Island officials recently loosened the restrictions that had been placed on beach accesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos: Nelda Briones / LFN


On Friday, April 24, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. announced that the county was partially reopening coastal and community parks with restrictions.

Coastal Parks that opened up on April 25 were Isla Blanca Park, Andy Bowie Park, Andie Bowie Park North Flats, Public Beach accesses 3 and 4, E.K. Atwood Park, Public Beach accesses 5 and 6, Adolph Thomae Jr. County Park, Boca Chica Beach and the Jaime J. Zapata Boat Ramp.

The county community parks that will open with restrictions are La Esperanza Park, Laureles Recreational Park, La Paloma Recreational Park, Santa Maria Community Park, El Ranchito Recreational Park, El Ranchito Community Park, Santa Rosa Community Park, Pedro “Pete” Benavides Recreational Park and Bejarano-McFarland Park.

Also due to sanitation concerns and for the health and safety of residents, playgrounds and water recreational areas, such as swimming pools and splash pads, will be closed until further notice.

Social service/community centers open are El Centro Cultural, Bob Clark Social Service Center and Santa Maria Community Center. Even though these centers are open, the center rentals are suspended until further notice.

All visitors must follow strict guidelines that the county has put in place. For a list of guidelines visit the Cameron County Parks and Recreation department website at

The City of South Padre Island also reopened on April 25 with limitations in place. The city announced that as people return to the Island, everyone must continue to follow the Centers for Disease and Control Preventions, the governor’s and county’s guidelines to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Mayor Patrick McNulty said in a release: “This has been an extremely difficult six weeks for the nation and even more so for our local economy, as it is dependent upon tourism. We are so excited that the light at the end of the tunnel continues to brighten and we welcome all of our visitors to return to the island that they enjoy and love. I want to thank the community for understanding the necessary restrictions that were put in place to help flatten the curve.”

The city encouraged hotels and short-term agencies to start taking non-essential reservations.

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