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Ground Broken for New Caprock Canyons Visitor Center
QUITAQUE, Texas — Ground has been broken for a new, 4,440-square-foot Visitor Center at Caprock Canyons State Park. An official groundbreaking ceremony was held Nov. 28 for the new center that is scheduled for completion by summer of 2007.
The $1.5 million project will include installation of a number of informative exhibits inside and outside the Visitor Center. They are designed to create a concise and cohesive interpretive narrative about the cultural and natural resources of the state park, the Texas State Bison Herd and Caprock Canyons Trailway. The exhibits are projected to be completed by fall of 2007.
Attending the groundbreaking at the park were officials of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and members of the local community. The golden shovel brigade consisted of Briscoe County Judge Wayne Nance; Caprock Partners Foundation President William Smith; Quitaque Mayor Clyde Dudley; park Superintendent Deanna Oberheu; State Parks Division Director Walt Dabney; and Patsy Harrington, who symbolically represented her late brother O. R. Stark, the Founder of the Caprock Partners Foundation.
After breaking ground at the site of the forthcoming Visitor Center, the dignitaries and local community members attended a reception at the Hope Community Center in Quitaque, where several officials spoke of their visions for the new Visitor Center. Harrington said a few words about her brother, the late O.R. Stark, who was perhaps the greatest visionary for the park.
Funding for the new visitor center came from various sources. This includes a significant donation from Buffalo Funds, a mutual fund family managed by Kornitzer Capital Management of Kansas, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Other dollars came from TPWD state funding, plus a federal highway grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The Visitor Center’s introductory exhibits will help park visitors better understand the natural resources of the canyonlands, the North American bison and peoples of the canyon lands. The center will include a park store, 24-hour restrooms, registration and administrative areas, and a group meeting pavilion.
There also will be a park map with wayfinding information, interpretive panels on bison conservation located at the nearby bison overlook and panels offering in-depth interpretation of selected park areas and various trails.
Caprock Canyons State Park features 14,000 acres of rugged, redrock canyonlands carved by tributaries of the Red River at the doorstep of the Texas Panhandle’s High Plains. For park information, call (806) 455-1492.
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