TPWD Awards More Than $400,000 Worth of Outreach Grants

Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453,

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AUSTIN, Texas — Sixteen organizations across Texas plan to introduce children around the state to camping, fishing, and conservation through the Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant program.

The CO-OP program began in 1996 as a way to help tax-exempt organizations introduce new constituents to outdoor recreation and environmental education. These grants are awarded twice yearly, with application deadlines of Oct. 1 and March 1. There is currently $800,000 available for the year, a decrease from the $1.25 million available last year.

Grant writing workshops for this summer will be announced in late spring. For more information about the workshops and the CO-OP grant program, visit the program Web page (, where a grant application can be downloaded. Or, contact Darlene Lewis at (512) 912-7145 or Dana Lagarde at (512) 912-7056.

The following is information about the organizations recently awarded grants:

  • (Austin) The Chautauqua Foundation, Inc. — 300 students in grades 4-6 in Travis County will experience river-related outdoor adventures. ($30,000)
  • (Austin) Asian Chamber of Commerce — Funding will be used to support the first phase of a five-year plan to combine hands-on heritage education about Asian migration to Texas with outdoor skills training, fishing, birding and camping. ($29,905)
  • (Collegeport) The Nature Conservancy — Students and teachers will experience fishing, camping, birdwatching, wetlands exploration, bay studies, nature photography and more. ($29,445)
  • (Copperas Cove) America’s Drug Free Production — 865 participants will learn about wildlife conservation programs, gun safety, camping and visits to state parks. ($29,832)
  • (Dallas) Clean South Dallas/Fair Park, Inc. — More than 360 parents and children in South Dallas will experience camping and fishing adventures in state parks. ($29,047)
  • (Dallas) Turning P.O.I.N.T. Dallas — Physically challenged participants will experience water activities, fishing, hunting and camping. ($28,100)
  • (Fort Worth) City of Fort Worth — An outdoor wildscape will be used as a field study site for biology and environmental science students at Paschal High School. ($8,603)
  • (Hamilton) Police Activities League of Texas — 1,200 children from Conroe, Uvalde, Webb and Harris counties, Corpus Christi and El Paso will get to learn and experience the outdoors by learning orienteering, mountain biking, archery, camping and Project Wild.($30,000)
  • (Houston) Korima Foundation — Inner-city kids from Houston will experience West Texas by camping in Big Bend State Park and studying geology, archeology, survival skills and visiting Fort Leaton State Historical Park. ($30,000)
  • (Houston) City of Houston — "Houston Wild" is a collaborative, community-based approach to nature education and conservation awareness for urban youth. More than 1,500 participants will study the ecosystem. ($30,000)
  • (Houston) East Harris County Youth Program — 850 students will get an education in Texas history, native wildlife and vegetation, angler education, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recreation. ($30,000)
  • (Lometa) Cedar Ridge Charter School, Inc. — Funding will be used to provide camping and fishing supplies, conservation passports and transportation for field trips and camp outs for 160 students and staff. ($20,000)
  • (San Antonio) City of San Antonio — 400 students will explore nature, hiking, camping, fishing, birdwatching and mountain biking. ($30,000)
  • (San Marcos) San Marcos Rive Foundation — Community-schools from several counties will study river conservation and other water-related programs. ($30,000)
  • (Tyler) Tyler ISD — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens, Biologists, Park Rangers and Wildlife experts will join other staff and volunteers to teach participants how to survive the outdoors, canoe/kayak, hunt, fish, and about laws and ethics. ($30,000)
  • (Weslaco) The Valley Nature Center — 250 participants will learn about South Texas flora and fauna, wildlife viewing, and take nature hikes. ($17,327)