Minding your manners at the park

Minding your manners at the park

Are you unknowingly an offender of park etiquette?

Most people don't head out to the park to be a nuisance. And if asked, you could probably immediately recall an example of the time someone did this or that while you were just trying to picnic with your friends.

Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the Brazos River Authority parks at the three-BRA owned and operated reservoirs: Possum Kingdom Lake, Lake Limestone, and Lake Granbury. With the sun shining and the water calling more and more people's names, it's important to follow a few basic common decency practices that ought to be universal during your day at the park. 

Certain regulations are no surprise. But there are some common guidelines that maybe you hadn't thought of before that are good etiquette.

So maybe it's time for a little refresher on best practices:

Top 10 Hits

You may think you've created the best Spotify list since the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, but chances are, neighboring park visitors just aren't that into it. 

If the only way you can live your best life is to blare those tunes, be sure to be sporting headphones. This doesn't just go for at night while people may be sleeping. Everyone comes to the park for a different reason. Maybe that reason is to mediate, reflect or just listen to nature. You don't have to whisper, just keep the music to a reasonable level. If you have to ask, it's probably too loud.

Arts & Crafts

Who doesn't enjoy a little arts and crafts? We certainly do. And there's a time and a place to break out the glitter, scissors, and glue. But the park may not be it. It may seem trendy or popular in movies to carve your initials on trees, benches, or any other structure, but it's really not. A lot of time and work goes into keeping our parks looking beautiful. 

Road rage

You've backed a boat into the water 100 times. We get it. You're great. But there are others who aren't quite as smooth as you. 

Patience is pivotal when enjoying any of the boat ramps at Brazos River Authority water supply reservoirs. There are also a few other ways to help make the loading and unloading of a boat on a boat ramp go a little smoother.

Prep first: Don't wait until getting on the boat ramp to do your prep work. A beautiful weekend day can draw crowds to any lake resulting in a line of vehicles ready to back their boat into the water.

Unload elsewhere: Don't unload your boat on the boat ramp. Once the boat is attached to the vehicle, pull away to a staging area to prep for the drive home. The courtesy ramp is not a hang-out spot.

Lights out: When backed in the ramp loading or unloading at night, be sure to turn off your headlights and just have your running lights so you're not making it hard for others to see while backing down the lane next to you.

Wrong kind of souvenir

"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints." It's not just a pretty saying. It's important. Don't fill your pockets with souvenirs. That pretty rock you found belongs right there in nature where you found it.

And, it's not "just one piece of trash." If every park visitor left one piece of trash, the park would look pretty gross. If you bring it in, take it out. Be extra awesome and pick up a piece of trash that doesn't belong to you too. There are trash cans at the parks, but sometimes the parks get busy, and the cans fill up. Just bag your own trash and take it back with you to throw away at home.

By abiding by a few good park etiquette guidelines, we can create a harmonious environment.