San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 11th, 2009
Five Mile Dam parks to stay closed indefinitely


The Blanco River is flowing again but Hays County’s Dudley Johnson and Randall Vetter parks will remain closed for now, county officials said on Tuesday.

“Initially Johnson and Vetter Parks were closed because of the drought, but now that water is currently flowing down the Blanco River again, our concern focuses on non-point-source pollution from runoff, which has raised the bacteria levels and made it hazardous for people and pets to swim in the water,” Hays County Parks Administrator Jerry Pinnix said. “And since Five Mile Dam Park is also a construction zone with heavy equipment, we need to keep people away for related safety reasons.”

Scheduled for completion in April, Phase II of the Five Mile Dam park project includes construction of a large concession and restroom building, hike-and-bike trails, landscaping and six soccer fields. The first phase, which included four soccer fields, pedestrian trails, a xeriscape garden, playground and canoe/kayak launch pads was completed earlier this year but drought prevented the first batch of fields from being playable this summer as planned.

When completed, the park will have opportunities for water activities including swimming, wading and kayaking/canoeing, picnicking, walking/jogging/biking, nature observation and historical interpretation and education. The large, lighted field complex will make the park suitable for tournaments and team sports, officials said.

The total investment for both phases of the 76-acre park complex exceeds $4 million, about $3.3 million of which is from Hays County parks bond packages approved in 2001 and 2007. Other funding is coming from the City of San Marcos and grants from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Lower Colorado River Authority, the McCoy Foundation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

For information, visit Hays County’s Web site at and click Five Mile Dam Complex Update under Quick Links. For other information, contact Pinnix at (512) 393-2212 or by e-mail at

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