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Texas Schools, Nonprofits, Cities Receive CO-OP Grants
AUSTIN, Texas — Nine Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant applicants in communities across Texas will ring in the New Year with fresh funding to help more Texas children experience environmental education and outdoor recreational activities.
A total of 29 applicants submitted proposals for the $235,000 in available grant funds announced just before Christmas. Each CO-OP participant can receive up to $30,000 to help fund outreach efforts.
Those who did not make the cut in this round of grants can re-apply for the Feb. 1 application deadline. For more information, contact TPWD at (512) 912-7124 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grant application forms and instructions are on the TPWD Web site.
“For many of the participants served by this round of grants, this will be the first time they have experienced the outdoors Texas Parks and Wildlife style,” said CO-OP Program Director Darlene Lewis. “These overnight stays and programs have been developed to help families around the state not only learn more about our natural resources, but also to become better stewards to help care for our resources.”
Funding for the grant program comes from a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods. The CO-OP budget was recently reduced from $800,000 to $470,000 per year because of the state budget crunch.
Here are the grant recipients for this funding cycle:
- (Austin) — The Chautauqua Foundation, Inc. — Fourth through sixth graders from Austin inner-city schools will learn leadership skills and responsibility through river-related outdoor adventures. ($29,000)
- (Austin) — Communities in Schools — Central Texas, Inc. — 210 at-risk students will participate in overnight camping trips at Garner State Park, Choke Canyon SP and Dinosaur Valley SP. ($30,000)
- (Copperas Cove) — America’s Drug Free Productions — More than 1,100 students in Copperas Cove school district will get to participate in overnight camping, hunting and gun safety, Project Wild, visits to Athens Freshwater Fish Hatchery and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo. ($29,770)
- (Dallas) — Girl Scouts of Tejas Council — More than 400 girls will participate in “Tejas Outdoor Fiestas.” Activities will include wildlife biology, kayaking, ecology, archery, fishing and star gazing. ($29,075)
- (Houston) — Korima Foundation — This program targets more than 1,000 Houston area kids at risk of dropping out of school. Week-long activities at Big Bend Ranch State Park include archaeology, mountain climbing and outdoor wilderness classrooms. ($30,000)
- (Pasadena) — City of Pasadena — Funding will be used for trips to state parks, Sea Center Texas, ecological boat tours and opportunities to explore the Gulf of Mexico. ($13,100)
- (San Antonio) — George Gervin Youth Center — Monthly outdoor recreational activities are planned for 250 at-risk students. They will participate in hiking, fishing, camping, rock climbing and backpacking. ($30,000)
- (San Marcos) — Texas State University — 150 students from Austin, Houston and Schertz schools will get to attend Aquatic Science Adventure camps. They will learn about water resources in Texas, aquatic life and habitats. ($30,000)
- (Temple) — City of Temple — This program, S’mores and More, will target first time campers and children traditionally not exposed to outdoor recreational and educational activities. ($17,750
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