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Stephen F. Austin State Park Named Business of the Year

Katy Schaffer, 512-389-8046, katy.schaffer@tpwd.texas.gov

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Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.

SEALY – On Nov. 5, the Sealy Chamber of Commerce named Stephen F. Austin State Park Business of the Year for 2015.

“I am very proud of our staff, volunteers and our wonderful Friends Support Group for making Stephen F. Austin State Park a great place,” said park superintendent Martha Garcia. “I’m proud to work with everyone who assisted in winning this award.”

The Chamber awarded the park for its demonstrated economic support of the local business community. Since its inclusion in the Texas State Parks system 75 years ago, the park has grown in visitation numbers and contributions to the local economy. Today the park welcomes over 60,000 visitors per year.

“We salute the park and its employees for the awesome job they have done in helping to put Austin County and Sealy on the map,” said Kathy Holloman, President of the Chamber of Commerce Board.

The park, which lies just five miles east of Sealy and an hour west of Houston along the banks of the Brazos River, was deeded to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by San Felipe de Austin, Inc. in 1940. It was used primarily for cattle ranching and recreation.

Now, Stephen F. Austin State Park is one of the few remaining untouched public natural resources in East Texas. The park includes 475 acres of bottomland hardwood forest and wetlands, all compliments of the Brazos River, the largest river in Texas. The park is home to dozens of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, trees, plants and insects. Park visitors enjoy several recreational activities, including picnicking, camping, fishing, and hiking and bicycling over six miles of trails.

The park is open daily Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Park entrance fees are $5 for adults. Children 12 and under get in free.

For a complete list of events at Stephen F. Austin State Park, browse http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/stephen-f-austin/park_events.