The Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) Foundation board of trustees yesterday (January 12) voted to donate $500,000 to Texas State Parks, which are facing a $4.6 million revenue shortfall caused by heat, drought, wildfires, and a drop in park visitation.
“Our hope is to encourage many other donors large and small to step up and help keep our Texas State Parks open,” said Kelly Thompson, TPW Foundation board chairman. “Our mission is to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and there has never been a greater need for private support of our parks. We will be aggressively seeking donations for state parks from private individuals, corporate partners, and other foundations to help reach the $4.6 million goal.”
Not counting yesterday’s foundation donation, more than $460,000 has been raised since Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) officials appealed for help December 6. That includes online and mailed donations and contributions through the new Texas motor vehicle opt-in donation program.
“We are deeply grateful to the foundation for today’s generous contribution, and to all those who have donated in recent weeks,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “We have a long way to go yet, but with this gift we have raised close to $1 million toward our $4.6 million goal, a remarkable achievement in a short time. This is yet another indication of how much Texans care about their state parks.”
Park officials continue to stress three ways Texans can help keep state parks open:
- Go to tpwd.state.tx.us/helpparks to make a tax-deductible donation
- Make a donation when you renew your motor vehicle registration
- Finally, because visitor fees pay for about half of park system operating costs, visit state parks often with family and friends
Park leaders are continuing their call for people to visit state parks, touting cooler weather, parks greening after recent rains, and campfires now allowed again in almost every state park. Check each park’s web page online for the latest information.
To learn about the various Texas State Parks and their offerings, or to make online camping reservations, visit texasstateparks.org.
Or call state park information at 1-800-792-1112, option 3, between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Texas Spoken Friendly
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)
The mission of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Texas State Parks
At Texas State Parks, there’s something for just about everyone. From high desert mountain mesas with incredible sunsets to tall pine forests, gulf coast breezes and hill country canyons, you’ll find some of the most scenic views anywhere in the Southwest at one of more than 90 state parks across Texas.
And there’s so much to do and enjoy. Whether you like to hike, camp, fish, swim, canoe or just relax with family and friends around a peaceful campfire, you can find it here. Some parks even offer things like horseback riding, or features such as cabins, yurts and lodges for people who love the outdoors, but still want some overnight comforts of home.
Rediscover everything you love about Texas and visit a state park today.
Texas State Park Donations: tpwd.state.tx.us/helpparks
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
Since 1991, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has served as the official non-profit funding partner for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. By bringing together companies, corporations, communities and individuals, the Foundation has successfully raised more than $70 million benefiting a wide variety of projects.
Address: 1901 N. Akard Street, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 720-1478
No matter how far we may wander, Texas lingers with us, coloring our perceptions of the world.