Ad Hoc Outreach Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., May 30, 2001

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Statewide and Regional Outreach
Staff: Bob Murphy
Committee Only
3. Sheldon Lake Master Plan
Staff: Laura David
Committee Only
4. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee
April 4, 2001

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 4th day of April 2001, there came on to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 2:55 p.m. to wit:


Lee M. Bass, Chairman
Al Henry, Committee Chair
Carol E. Dinkins
Nolan Ryan (absent)
John Avila, Jr.
Mark Watson, Jr.
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
Dick W. Heath (absent)

II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES: Minutes approved.


1. BRIEFING – Chairman’s Charges

Presenter: Andrew Sansom

MR. SANSOM: One of the charges was to establish a research initiative to evaluate public attitudes and opinions on research, conservation, and outdoor recreation. The Texas Tech project will be at completion around the end of this calendar year. In addition, he advised the committee about the briefing on the Texas River Center which is the next generation of major outreach facilities. And, that Sheldon Lake State Park, our flagship outreach project, is in the bond package which passed the House Committee at which Larry McKinney will further brief the Committee.

2. BRIEFING – River Center Update

Presenter: Dr. Larry McKinney

Dr. McKinney: Briefed the Committee on the role of the Texas River Center. The primary focus is the San Marcos Springs which discharges water into the San Marcos River. This site will also serve as an educational, policy development, and research facility. Another focus for the center is trying to talk/educate about water as a natural cycle. To ensure the environment is part of water development and management in the future.

In addition, Phase I of the project is underway. Phase I is a $3 million project which will be in completion within two and a half to three years. Key elements in Phase I that have taken a little longer are:

Convert the existing hotel to a research and interpretative facility
Asbestos abatement
Archeological work that will be required
River center programs are currently held at The Landing and these programs will be moving to the hotel area and the peninsula will be cleared off as well
The Wetlands exhibit is nearing completion with the assistance of TPW Foundation and Chevrolet Foundation.

Environmental restoration of facility, i.e., removal of exotic aquatic and terrestrial vegetation which was done for the amusement park. This project will be a long and difficult effort. The relation to the Corps of Engineers who has agreed to do some restoration work on the dam at Spring Lake that was damaged during the last flood. And, they have agreed to commit 2 to 3$ million to the river center for the environmental restoration which include removing some of the structures that are out in the lake, the submerged facilities, the tramway which is no longer operational, and vegetation management as well.

The final phase of Phase I – Phase I will be a stand-alone project once it is completed. Everything will be functional and it will be a working facility.

The key part of Phase 1 is Phase 2 which is the River Center itself, supply exhibits and meeting spaces. With the help of the Corps, Phase 2 can be completely planned and programmed out. Phase 2 is approximately an $8 to $12 million project. Once the funds have been raised then plans can be laid out and move forward with the project.

COMMISSIONER HENRY: Closing comment. Attended meetings/luncheons and reported to the Committee how much support has been received from other entities regarding parks, particularly the City of Houston Chamber of Commerce. Chair Henry will keep the Committee abreast of any further developments.

IV. ADJOURNMENT – Session ended at 3:07 p.m.

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Ad Hoc Outreach Committee
Chairman's Charges
May 2001

(This item will be an oral presentation.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Bob Murphy

Ad Hoc Outreach Committee
Statewide and Regional Outreach
May 2001

I. Discussion: This briefing provides the Committee with an update on agency efforts to implement a comprehensive statewide and regional outreach effort including the following strategies:

The Department-wide outreach initiative, including the hiring of (urban) regional specialists to direct outreach efforts in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, is well underway. Resource Protection and Education staff organization has been realigned to coordinate the statewide education and outreach strategic plan. Outreach efforts will be coordinated across divisions via the existing Education (and Outreach) Team. The team met recently to discuss the overall outreach strategic plan of the agency and to organize strategies to address the Sunset Commission’s recommendations on education and outreach efforts by the Department (Issue 6, TPW Sunset Commission Report and pending legislation). Outreach initiatives will be coordinated with the successful Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant recipients, especially in the urban areas.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Laura David

Ad Hoc Outreach Committee
Sheldon Lake Master Plan
May 2001

I. Discussion: Staff will brief the Committee on the completion of the master plan for Sheldon Lake State Park. The briefing will entail current dollars spent, information on the public meeting held on April 9, 2001, and communicate the next proposed action.

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