Breaking News
More () »

Fairfield Lake State Park in Freestone County closes for last time

Fairfield Lake State Park closed its gates to the public for the last time at 9:00 p.m. Monday so that developers can come and build multi-million-dollar homes.

FAIRFIELD, Texas — The gates to Fairfield Lake State Park officially closed for the last time Monday night.

The group, Vistra, that leases the once state park, sold it to another buyer who plans to build a gold course and multi-million-dollar homes on it.

This brings up a lot of concern to Texans across the state who see this as a step backwards, because they said taking away green spaces doesn't do anyone any good.

"It's sad for me that we're losing such a big thing here in Texas," said Mary Navarro, who has gone to the park for many years.

Six News did reach out to the group selling the property and they responded with the following statement:

Vistra and Luminant value our strong partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We are proud to have made this privately-owned land available to generations of Texans for the past 50 years – more than 25 years beyond the original lease and at no cost to the State. 

In 2018, the Big Brown Power Plant, which sits on the remainder of our property and used the reservoir for cooling, ceased operations. At that time, we informed TPWD that we intended to sell the entire property and encouraged them to submit a bid. In 2021, we publicly marketed the property. We entered into a contract in early spring of 2022 with a potential buyer, and we honor our contracts and our commitments. 

As of Monday, Feb. 13, we have reached a point in the sales process where Texas Parks and Wildlife has been given a 120-day notification of lease termination, per the current lease terms. Any possible arrangements for the property to serve as a public park in the future will need to be decided between the buyer and TPWD.

We are pleased to have been able to lease this private land to the State at no cost since 1971. We look forward to continuing our partnership with TPWD, including our numerous conservation and habitat restoration programs and providing public access to our privately owned land at the Lake Colorado City State Park in Mitchell County and the 1,000-acre public hunting lands agreement in Robertson County.

Daniel Stauffer, the Park's Superintendent, said he hopes the closure is not forever.

"Our county judge has put together a proclamation to save Fairfield Lake State Park and that has been endorsed by many citizens in Freestone County and Fairfield, Texas," he said.

State Representative Angelia Orr filed a bill, that if signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, would allow the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to use eminent domain to seize the park's land.

Across the state in Houston, an activist is working to get local legislators to realize how important it is to have parks like this be open for future generations.

"My daughter even wrote a letter to our local representative about her love of the park which is pretty amazing," Christina Sizemore said.

Before You Leave, Check This Out