Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Texas Recreation and Parks Account
Regional Park Grants
June 2000

I. Discussion: The Seventy-Third Legislature-Regular Session, created the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program (TRPA). TRPA is funded through a dedication of a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods. The program provides local governments matching funds assistance for outdoor and indoor recreation.

The Seventy-sixth Legislature, Regular Session, passed House Bill 2108, which makes several changes to the Texas Recreation and Parks Account as incorporated in Chapter 24 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. One of these changes was the creation of a regional park initiative. This change grew out of a recommendation contained in a 1998 study prepared by Texas A&M University, "Texas Outdoors, A Vision for the Future". This study was a comprehensive assessment of the current and future needs for recreation opportunities in Texas. The report states, "better understanding of all Texans by TPWD and other recreation providers can help them create opportunities for all citizens…includ(ing): creating large, intensive-use outdoor recreation and park lands in areas surrounding the fastest-growing cities. A lack of such parks is a major constraint for Texans. An important element of this action is developing TPWD capacity for multimillion-dollar matching grants to leverage development of these projects with private sector, nonprofit and local agency partners. A second element is ensuring adequate surface water resources for aquatic habitat and water-based recreation. Another is developing regional systems of parks and conservation areas with trail linkages or linear greenways between them and other community amenities."

A total of $ 3 million is available for grants to local governments for these regional parks. These consist of Texas Recreation and Parks Account, and federal Land and Water Conservation Funds. The staff has solicited proposals from local governments in Texas’ major metropolitan areas, and has received seven applications. A committee of TPW staff and local government representatives has reviewed the proposals in light of the issues stated above, and is recommending the funding of 4 regional parks.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"Grant funding for Regional parks in the amount of $3,000,000 is approved for the projects as shown at Exhibit A, for the projects as shown in the individual project descriptions at Exhibit B. These projects will be administered using the rules for the Texas Recreation and Parks Account grant program."

Attachments - 3

1. Exhibit A – Project list
2. Exhibit B – Project descriptions (available upon request)
3. Exhibit C - Fiscal Note (available upon request)

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit A

Regional Park Priority Listing
Funding Requests
(Descending Order of Priority)

Williamson County Brushy Creek Regional Park $1,000,000.00 $750,000.00 $750,000.00
El Paso County Rio Grande River Trail $1,000,000.00 $750,000.00 $1,500,000.00
McAllen Quinta Mazatlan Nature Center $977,900.00 $750,000.00 $2,250,000.00
Houston Brays Bayou Greenway $1,000,000.00 $750,000.00 $3,000,000.00
San Antonio Government Canyon State Park $500,000.00 $0.00 $3,000,000.00
Cameron County Boca Chica Beach Park $500,000.00 $0.00 $3,000,000.00
Galveston County Carbide Regional Park $1,614,725.00 $0.00 $3,000,000.00
TOTAL $6,592,625.00 $3,000,000.00  

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