New year means new park rules for San Marcos
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If you enjoy drinking beer in San Marcos parks, you have until the end of the year to do it.
The New Year will bring new rules to San Marcos’s city parks. City Council passed the new parks ordinance in May, but it doesn't take effect until Tuesday. Starting Jan. 1, public displays of alcohol, public consumption of alcohol and Styrofoam containers are banned from the city’s parks.
This week, signs are going up to educate park visitors of the changes.
"You can still drink on the river if you're tubing or kayaking or doing something like that," Jeff Caldwell, San Marcos Park Ranger, said.
The ordinance prohibits the use of alcohol in the park, but it doesn't affect what happens on the river. In fact, the city is working to establish zones in which people could carry their alcohol to and from the river without any problems.
"Those are the areas where tubing typically begins and typically ends and, so those points, you can bring you alcohol through to get it down to the river. You just can't consume in those points," Caldwell said.
Law enforcement says the ordinance gives them the ability to proactively address concerns before a situation becomes dangerous.
"Come out and have a great time. It's a family friendly environment. Bring your family, bring your friends. Have fun in the park. Have fun on the river,” Caldwell said. “If you want to bring alcohol feel free to do that on the river, just do that responsibly. Be aware of what's going on around you."
They say if people will follow that advice and the new rules, the parks will be a safer place to enjoy the river.
In addition to prohibiting alcohol in city parks, the new ordinance also requires lids on coolers to be secured while in the river and creates tobacco free zones around playgrounds and ball fields.
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