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Co-op Grants Funded Across Texas
AUSTIN, Texas — High school students developing a computer mapping system to help four state parks with search-and-rescue is one example of 14 projects across the state recently awarded grant funding through the Community Outdoor Outreach Program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The CO-OP program enables tax-exempt organizations to introduce participants to outdoor recreation, environmental education and conservation programs statewide. This spring, 14 programs out of 74 applicants have been awarded funding.
"Competition for these dollars is fierce," said Darlene Lewis of TPWD state parks division. "There were still so many more great programs, just not enough dollars to go around."
The CO-OP program has two funding cycles per year. Currently, $800,000 per year is available for this program, down from the $1.25 million previously available. Below is a list of programs to be funded, listed alphabetically by the name of their home city.
- (Abilene) — Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Abilene — 250 kids and their mentors will be introduced to the Outdoors Kids program and have planned visits to more than six state parks. ($30,000)
- (Athens) — Kidfish Foundation — 21 communities around Texas as well as six Corpus Christi elementary schools will benefit from this program to encourage responsible stewardship while fishing and learning about the natural resources. ($30,000)
- (Austin) — Travis County 4H & Youth Development — Participants from Austin and Del Valle will participate in the Wild Over Texas which includes hands-on, learn-by doing activities. ($30,000)
- (Brenham) — Boys and Girls Club of Washington County — 300 area youth will be introduced to nature and learn the importance of protecting the environment. Trips to state parks, fishing and camping are part of the activities planned for this project. ($19,210)
- (Brenham) — Brenham ISD — 120 kids will experience a one-week day camp called Camp YES where activities planned will help prepare students for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) test while encouraging stewardship of natural resources. ($20,613)
- (Brownsville)- Texas Southmost College — Nearly 500 students will experience environmental science, geology, ecology and cultural history activities. ($30,000)
- (Dallas) — Bishop Dunne High School- These funds will be used to help establish the GeoSMART unit which will directly benefit search and rescue for missing persons at four Texas State Parks. Students will go into state parks with GPS units and help create mapping systems to help state park personnel find people in trouble quicker. ($29,800)
- (Dallas) — West Dallas Community Center — Camping, hiking, and fishing for more than 400 urban inner-city youth in West Dallas. ($29,750)
- (Denton) — Changing Course Foundation — Funding will help provide more activities for Project H.O.P.E., which will teach 250 juvenile probationers leadership skills, social responsibility and teamwork. Camping, canoeing, rock climbing and more. ($15,797)
- (Galveston) — Friends of Galveston Island State Park — More than 500 students and their teachers will take part in a year-long hands-on environmental education program to help them gain understanding and appreciation of the natural environments of the Galveston Bay area. ($19,367)
- (Glen Rose) — Fossil Rim Wildlife Center — Overnight camping activities will allow 250 youth to be exposed to a new program called "Endangered Birds of Texas." The youth will study rare birds and examine the role of youth in conservation of natural resources in Texas. ($29,750)
- (Houston) — Texas Buddhist Association, Inc. — Outdoor educational field trips, overnight camping and a family gear loaner program are all part of this program targeting 1,000 participants in the Houston area. ($29,989)
- (Houston) Youth Educational Support Services — Students from community organizations, home school organizations and alternative schools will learn more about marine habitats, natural resources through offshore fishing and wilderness camping in state parks. ($30,000)
- (Three Rivers) — Three Rivers ISD — Funding will help provide hunting and fishing trips, conservation education for students enrolled in Wildlife Management and Recreation courses in the district. ($24,629)
The next available CO-OP grant deadline is Oct. 1. To find out more about upcoming workshops or download an application, visit the Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/grants/).
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