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Rural and Inner-City Youth Big Winners in TPWD COOP Grant Round
AUSTIN, Texas — Students and families from rural communities and inner cities will experience a taste of Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments’ programs and facilities, some for the first time, as a result of the latest round of Community Outdoor Outreach Program grants.
"This is the first time we’ve had so many rural communities to participate in the Community Outdoor Outreach Program, said Darlene Lewis, program director. "We recognize there is as much need in the smaller communities as in our larger cities and it’s nice to see more communities taking advantage of this program."
Lewis attributes the increase to the TPWD’s effort to conduct grant writing workshops around the state, promoting the program and offering technical assistance to applicants.
Twenty-one sponsors will receive funding to get kids and their families outdoors:
- (Austin) Austin Independent School District — Kealing Middle School’s program will allow students and their families to participate in a series of day camps which will increase awareness of outdoor education, nature and recreation while focusing on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills testing components. ($49,760)
- (Austin) Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas — Outdoor mentoring programs are planned as well as group activities which will include wildlife photography, hunting, orienteering, camping and more. ($30,000)
- (Austin) Boys & Girls Club of the Capital Area — Students participating in the after school program at Bedichek Middle School will get a chance to experience fishing, camping, rock climbing and more. ($11,796)
- (Austin) Lifechangers, Inc. — 450 8th and 9th graders and their families will learn about the environment, TPWD sites and get to fish, hike and study plants. ($49,800)
- (Austin) Pflugerville ISD — Students at Westview Middle School and their families will experience a series of day camps which include challenge course activities as well as lessons about endangered species, camping etiquette and plant identification. ($49,900)
- (Boerne) Friends of Cibolo Wilderness — "Kids on the Creek" program will allow San Antonio area school districts to participate in Project Wild and other outdoor service learning projects. ($47,960)
- (Corpus Christi) Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries, Inc. — This is the first time this location in the Nueces Delta will be available for open water use by youth and other groups. Ten overnight camping trips are planned and activities include canoeing and fishing. ($36,314)
- (Corpus Christi) Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi — Funding for this program will be used to support five one-week outdoor/environmental summer camps and three one-day kayaking events for nearly 300 participants. ($20,374)
- (Corsicana) Boys & Girls Clubs of Navarro County — 150 students will visit state parks where they will learn about plant and wildlife identification, forestry and horticulture, and hike, canoe and fish. ($14,964)
- (Dallas) Episcopal Diocese of Dallas — 150 students in the Dallas area will attend a 4-day Environmental Stewardship camp. Among the programs and activities listed are Project Wild, archery, mountain biking, astronomy and angler education. ($49,388)
- (Hideaway) Partners in Ethics and Character Education, Inc. (ECE) — More than 57-hundred students will attend Adventure camps to learn survival skills, hiking, rock climbing and more. ($23,568)
- (Houston) Houston Arboretum — Students from Kindergarten through the 7th grade will get hands-on experiences about our natural resources in this 155 acre classroom. Funds will be used to help cover transportation expenses and to buy equipment and supplies. ($42,150)
- (Houston) Jr. Anglers & Hunters of America Inc. — Some 3,000 students will participate in outdoor activities at community centers, parks and urban bayou areas. ($49,968)
- (Houston) Nature Heritage Society — Year-round programs in environmental education and outdoor recreation will be offered to 550 students around Houston. ($29,750)
- (Livingston) Abundant Light of Livingston — 250 students will experience the outdoors learn about conservation and the preservation of natural resources. They will also fish, camp and learn about the cultural resources in Livingston. ($39,290)
- (Mabank) Mabank ISD — This program will provide outdoor recreational opportunities to rural, low-income students from surrounding communities. ($38,095)
- (Mason) Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Assn. — 6th and 7th graders will get to participate in an old fashion trail ride leaving out of Old Ft. Parker near Groesbeck. They will participate in period games, experience the life of the pioneers and learn Dutch oven cooking. ($12,707)
- (Rogers) KIDFISH — More than 30 fishing events are planned around the state to allow children an opportunity to fish as well as learn about ethics, conservation and having fun. ($50,000)
- (San Antonio) Kayak Anglers Society of America — "Heroes on the Water" will bring the rehabilitative aspects of kayak angling to veterans and their families who have suffered injuries while serving our nation. ($50,000)
- (White Oak) White Oak ISD — Student groups will take their classrooms outdoors, partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Nature center to conduct water experiments in the wetlands area and virtual walking tours. ($49,992)
- (Zavalla) Lake Sam Rayburn Nature Center — 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students will participant in ACTS (Angling, Canoeing, Testing and Stewardship). They will be mentored by TPWD aquatic biologists, a professional fisherman and fishing volunteers to learn about water safety, a healthy fishing environment and lakeshore littering issues. ($29,047)
TPWD staff have scheduled grant-writing workshops around the state. They include:
- San Antonio — August 13, 2008: 9am -12 noon at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, 10750 Pleasanton Rd, San Antonio, TX. 78221
- Houston — August 19, 2008: 1pm — 4 pm at the Houston at the Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons, Houston, TX 77027
- Bandera — August 26, 2008: 9 am to 12 noon — Silver Sage Activity Center, 803 Buck Creek, Bandera, Texas.
- Grapevine — September 10, 2008: 9am-12 noon at the Bessie Mitchell House / Botanical Garden, 411 Ball Street, Grapevine, TX 76051
Currently, there is $1.25-million available for grants for the next biennium with deadlines Oct. 1 and Feb. 1. To find out more about the grants, contact TPWD at 512-389-8224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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