Texas private developer buys Texas State park According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, they have 120 days to evacuate Fairfield Lake State Park before it is sold to a new owner. After more than 50 years of public use, the park will be permanently closed on Feb. 28. Fairfield Lake State Park is located southeast of Dallas in Freestone County. According to the Dallas Morning News, the popular state park will be developed into an exclusive community with multimillion-dollar houses and a private golf course.
According to the article, the site is owned by Vistra Energy, which leased it to the state at no cost. Todd Interests, the developer behind high-end developments such as The National and East Quarter in downtown Dallas, is buying Vistra. According to state officials, the developer, Shawn Todd, has stated that he would no longer lease the site.
“Losing Fairfield Lake State Park would represent a significant step backward in our efforts to expand outdoor recreational opportunities for Texas’ booming population,” stated Arch “Beaver” Aplin III, Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. “This loss is especially unfathomable at a time when we are celebrating 100 years of state parks, yet absent any cooperation or interest in working with us from the developer, we have no other options.
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Rest assured Commissioners remain committed to working with Todd Interests to maintain this important public asset and grow outdoor recreation in Texas.”
Visitors will no longer be able to access the park, public boat ramps, or fishing pier after February 28. The lake’s public recreation areas will also be closed. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, around 2,700 persons have overnight reservations at the park after Feb. 27 that will be canceled.
How Director Of Texas State Parks Reacted?
“I am extremely disheartened that Fairfield Lake State Park can no longer provide the outdoor fun and memories it has created for families in the local community and across Texas for nearly 50 years,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “I would like to thank the community, partners, visitors, and all the employees for their hard work and unwavering support to bring incredible recreation and outstanding service to the state of Texas for so many years.”
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TPWD stated that they will continue to work on purchasing and maybe expanding the park. NBC 5 has reached out to Todd Interests for comment but has yet to hear back. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Fairfield Lake State Park receives an average of 80,000 visitors per year and is popular for horseback riding, family reunions, paddling, fishing, camping, and hiking.
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