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April 15 Brings Outdoor Grants for 8 Texas Groups
AUSTIN, Texas — While many people were racing to meet the IRS tax deadline on April 15, eight Texas organizations who help kids learn more about conservation and outdoor recreation got some good news about grant awards.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program (COOP) awarded a total of $215,072 in grants to groups in Brownsville, Dallas, Goliad, Houston (two grants), Laredo, Lubbock and Sinton.
“With many organizations seeing a decline in funding and donations, this news is welcome for these organizations trying to find a way to make sure future Texans not only enjoy the outdoors, but learn to protect it and respect it,” said Darlene Lewis, COOP program director. “For many of the participants targeted in this program, this will be the first time they have experienced the outdoors Texas Parks and Wildlife style.”
Funding for COOP grants comes from state sporting tax dollars. Available grant funding was reduced last legislative session from $800,000 to $470,000 per year.
Here is the list of grants awarded this funding cycle:
(Brownsville) — Texas Southmost College Foundation —Students from rural communities will be exposed to outdoor recreation and environmental programs in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. ($30,000)
(Dallas) —Turning P.O.I.N.T. (Paraplegics on Independent Nature Trips) — This program will allow children and adults with disabilities, including the newly injured, to see demonstrations and experience outdoor recreational activities first-hand. ($29,000)
(Goliad) — Goliad Heritage Council — 12 one-day Wild About Our River workshops will teach river preservation, conservation and etiquette principles to help encourage responsible use and care of the river basin. ($22,436)
(Houston) — City of Houston Parks and Recreation Dept. — Houston PARKS Adventure is a new program designed to engage urban children, women and seniors in the great outdoors. They will enjoy hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing and camping. ($30,000)
(Houston) — East Harris County Youth Program — 800 “at-risk” and minority low-income students will visit state parks, environmental learning and nature centers this summer to learn more about conservation and environmental programs. ($30,000)
(Laredo) — Webb County Police Activities League — Visits to state parks and experiencing outdoor activities such as hunting, camping, fishing, outdoor cooking and birding will be among the activities experienced by the 320 participants in this program. ($30,000)
(Lubbock) — Village of Buffalo Springs — Buffalo Springs Lake will be used as an outdoor classroom for 5-8th graders in the rural school districts of Lubbock. Funding will be used for water testing kits, orienteering kits, animal track casting, fishing and Dutch ovens for cooking. ($24,732)
(Sinton) — Rob & Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation — Funds will be used to help provide quality conservation education to students and teachers. Activities include archery, kayaking, bird watching, fishing, wildlife habitat management and wetland ecology programs for more than 2,500 participants. ($18,904)
Because of the recent funding reductions, applications are now accepted for review only once per year. The next grant application deadline is Feb. 1, 2007. To find out more about COOP grants, contact TPWD by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 912-7124, or see the department Web site.
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