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TPW Commission Awards Almost $7 Million in Grants
AUSTIN, Texas The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved $6,726,082 in grants Jan. 29 for Outdoor Recreation, Indoor Recreation and Boat Ramp projects, benefiting 14 communities across the state.
Money for the outdoor and indoor grant programs comes from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account, authorized in 1993 and funded by a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods to help local governments provide public recreation facilities. Grant recipients must cover half the cost of the projects.
For Outdoor Recreation grants, TPWD was able to approve 10 of 30 applications for a total of $4,827,582 in matching funds (see outdoor grants listed at bottom below).
For Indoor Recreation Grants, 11 applicants vied for $637,500 in available funds, and the Palmview Recreation Center in Hidalgo Country was awarded a grant to construct a 25,000-square foot recreation center. Proposed development includes a gymnasium, stage, weight room, dance studio, recreational room, pool room, library, arts and crafts room, aerobics room, martial arts room, nature lab, kitchen, restrooms, storage rooms, patio, landscaping, area lights, utilities, rain harvesting and solar equipment, interpretive signs, and project signs. The local match consists of Hidalgo County Community Development Block Grant funds. Only one indoor grant project could be funded this year because of recently imposed budget limitations.
For Boat Ramp grants, recipients must cover 25 percent of the project cost and TPWD received three applications. The State Boat Ramp Program was authorized in 1975 and provides funds to purchase, construct and maintain boat ramps, access roads and related improvements, including capital improvements to existing state boat ramp sites. The program receives funding from two sources: the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, also known as the Wallop-Breaux Program, and the State Game, Fish and Water Safety Fund, which is funded in part by boat registration and titling fees.
The City of Corpus Christi will receive a 75 percent matching share grant in the amount of $500,000 for the construction of a 3-lane boat ramp to replace an existing boat ramp. The ramp will be located at Cooper’s Alley L-head in Corpus Christi Marina on South Shoreline Boulevard.
Aransas County Navigation District Number 1 will receive a matching grant in the amount of $500,000 for the construction of a 1-lane boat ramp, breakwater, courtesy dock and bulkhead. The boat ramp will be located in Fulton Beach Park in the City of Fulton on Aransas Bay.
Island Moorings Marina will receive a $261,000 matching grant for a dredging project in the Piper Channel. This 4000 foot-long boat passage located in Nueces County near Port Aransas connecting the Island Moorings subdivision and Island Moorings Marina to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Erosion caused by tropical storms and large barge traffic on the ship channel has effectively blocked Piper Channel. To solve the problem, the City of Port Aransas has agreed to build a retaining wall along a critical section of the Ship Channel and the mouth of Piper Channel. The Texas General Land Office has funded a project to place geo-tubes along the sides of Piper Channel. Federal funding assistance through the Boating Access program is requested to fund a portion of the dredging of Piper Channel. The project will be financed by the Island Moorings Marina, which will be responsible for the 25 percent local match.
Outdoor Recreation Grant recipients include the following:
- The city of Penitas in Hidalgo County received $422,720 to acquire 37.52 acres for its Park & Wildlife Refuge with trails, wetlands, picnic areas and recreation amenities, wildlife habitat and improvements (including bridges, fencing and signs, and more). The local match consists of Hidalgo County Urban County funds.
- Travis County received $500,000 to further develop East Metropolitan Park southeast of Manor by purchasing 26 acres and developing an additional 235.4 acres. Proposed development includes a 24-acre wetlands preserve, 0.5-mile multi-use trail, swimming pool, basketball court, tennis court, playground, climbing wall, and pavilion with grill, fishing pier with benches, fruit orchard with interpretive signs, wetland plantings, skate park, 9-hole disc golf course, cultural interpretive displays, native tree plantings, and program signs. The local match consists of a private cash donation.
- The City of Murphy in Collin County received $500,000 for the Murphy’s Maxwell Creek Linear Park & Preserve to acquire by donation 42.15 acres along Maxwell Creek adjacent to an existing greenbelt and develop the Linear Park located in the northeast area of the city. Proposed development includes a 30-acre open space dedication, pavilion, 0.5-mile nature trail, wildlife observation station, 1-mile multi-purpose trail, basketball court, practice baseball field, amphitheater, interpretive signs, six picnic tables, six benches, kiosk, interpretive playground, two soccer fields, native plant landscaping, and project signs. The local match consists of a land donation from the Plano Independent School District, and a private donation of land and facilities.
- The City of Progreso in Hidalgo County received $500,000 for Progreso Community Park to acquire 20 acres by purchase and develop the community park located in the western area of the city. Proposed development includes a 1.0-acre open space dedication with wildlife habitat enhancement, pavilion, 25 sheltered picnic tables with grills, playground, 20 sheltered benches/swings, multi-purpose court, two shuffleboard courts, two horseshoe pits, two washer pits, soccer field, two baseball fields, disc golf course, sand volleyball court, pond, 0.9-mile multi-purpose trail, 900-linear foot nature trail, six exercise stations, water play facility, xeriscape demonstration plot, interpretive kiosk and signs, utilities, and project signs. The local match consists of Hidalgo County Urban County funds.
- The City of Taft in San Patricio County received $500,000 to acquire by donation 6.27 acres and develop 13.0 acres as the Taft Public Recreation Complex located in the east area of the city. Proposed development includes a 3.3-acre open space dedication, 0.5-mile multi-purpose trail, three exercise stations, lighted baseball field, lighted softball field, renovation of two Little League fields, multi-purpose field, pavilion, playground, swimming pool, five picnic tables with grills, community grill, two tennis courts, basketball court, two game tables, butterfly garden, native plantings with interpretive signs, cultural interpretive signs and program signs. The local match consists of Taft Independent School District land and cash.
- The City of Mathis in San Patricio County received $404,862 to acquire 1.0 acre by purchase, develop 24.697 acres of city-owned non-parkland and further develop 15.64-acre Mathis Gonzalo-Paiz (City) Park II located in the northwest area of the city. Proposed development includes a 1.0-acre open space dedication, skate park, three baseball fields, T-ball field, six soccer fields, two pavilions, playground, three picnic tables with grills, two sand volleyball courts, two shuffleboard courts, two finger parks, climbing wall, ping pong table, 0.1-mile nature trail, exercise station, cultural exhibits, 2.0-acre pond, fishing pier, 0.6-acre wetland, renovation of two tennis courts, two basketball courts, and lighted softball field, concession/restroom, parking, and program signs. The local match consists of the value of the city-owned non-parkland; San Patricio County Drainage District funds; TPWD and San Patricio County donations of labor, equipment and materials; and private donations of cash, labor, equipment, and materials.
- The City of Dilly in Frio County received $500,000 to acquire by donation 21.0 acres and develop the Dilley City-School Community Park located in the north area of the city. Proposed development includes a 1.0-acre open space dedication, 0.25-mile multi-purpose trail, 0.02-mile nature trail, six exercise stations, lighted softball field with overlying soccer field, lighted baseball field with overlying soccer field, five tennis courts, 15 picnic stations, two playgrounds, 10 bench/swing units, youth pavilion, group pavilion, shuffleboard court, two horseshoe pits, two washer pits, discus/shot put area, disc golf course, xeriscape demonstration garden, pond with pier, two bird watching stations, interpretive signs/exhibits, native tree planting, landscaping, rainwater harvesting equipment, irrigation, and program signs. The local match consists of Dilley Independent School District land and cash; and private donations of cash, labor, equipment and materials.
- The City of Azle received $500,000 for a project in Tarrant and Parker Counties to acquire 36.89 acres by purchase/donation to develop the Azle Linear Park located in the west area of the city in the Ash and Reynolds Creek corridors. Proposed development includes a 6.7acre open space dedication, 1.6-mile multi-purpose trail with two bridges and eight exercise stations, amphitheater, playground, skate board park, gazebo, basketball court, pavilion, 15 sheltered picnic tables with grills, sand volleyball court, two soccer fields, 15 sheltered benches, three horseshoe pits, two shuffleboard courts, Texas Smartscape demonstration garden, cultural resource and interpretive signage, bird blinds and nesting boxes, landscaping, utilities, and program signs. The local match consists of city funds; community service labor; and private donations of land, cash, labor, equipment and materials.
- The City of Buda in Hays County received $500,000 to acquire by donation 1.2 acres and develop 50.4 acres of city-owned non-parkland as Buda Stagecoach Park located on Onion Creek in the east area of the city. Proposed development includes a 1.2-acre wetland dedication, 5.0-acre open space dedication, 1.91-mile hike/bike trail, 0.15-mile nature trail, wetland garden, lighted amphitheater, pavilion, playground, nine picnic stations, 10 benches, pond, three camp sites, council ring, creek observation overlook, wetland observation overlook, park overlook, creek access areas, wildflower meadow, xeriscape gardens, three educational/information kiosks, interpretive signs, and program signs. The local match consists of the value of the city-owned non-parkland, Hays County grant funds, and private donations of land and labor.
- McLennan County received $500,000 to acquire 24 acres by donation to develop the Mart Athletic Complex located in the City of Mart in the east area of the county. Proposed development includes a 2.0-acre open space dedication, lighted track, lighted football/soccer field, lighted baseball field, lighted softball field, skate/basketball court, five RV sites, pavilion, seven historical/cultural kiosks, playground, five picnic tables, 0.4-mile multi-use trail, 0.5-mile nature trail, xeriscape garden/habitat, pond, fishing pier, bandstand, gazebo, lighting, and project signs. The local match consists of McLennan County labor, equipment, and materials; Mart Independent School District donations of land, cash, labor, equipment, and materials; and the value of the private land donation.
Information about TPWD grant opportunities, application forms and deadlines is on the department Internet site (http://tpwd.texas.gov/grants/). Or, phone the Recreation Grants Branch at (512) 912-7124.
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