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TPWD News Release — Aug. 22, 2013

Mother Neff State Park Redevelopment Kicks Off This Saturday

MOODY – Mother Neff State Park, the first official Texas state park, will undergo an extreme makeover in coming months that will include a new headquarters, new campground and other amenities.

The public is invited to attend a 10 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday to be attended by state and local dignitaries, including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith, Texas State Parks Director Brent Leisure, former state Sen. Kip Averitt and representatives of state Sen. Brian Birdwell’s and state Sen. Troy Fraser’s offices.

Access to the groundbreaking ceremony will be on the prairie, north of the park’s temporary entrance on State Highway 236. Shuttle vans will be available to take visitors from parking spots along the highway to the event site.

The event marks the beginning of the $6.5 million redevelopment project at the park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s in Coryell County 15 miles northwest of Temple. The improvements will help address the recurring flooding of the Leon River that has occurred along the park’s lower reaches, inundating the recreation hall, headquarters and park entrance.

In addition to the new headquarters building and new campground with 20 full hookup campsites, the redevelopment will include a new park entrance, maintenance area, restroom with showers and new roads. The project should be completed no later than August 2015.

The 400-acre park, which opened in 1937, draws many of its visitors from Fort Hood, Killeen, Temple and Waco, who come to camp, hike, picnic and fish from the riverside.

Mother Neff State Park is named for Mrs. Isabella Eleanor (Mother) Neff, who donated six acres of land for a park along the Leon River in 1916.  After her death in 1921, her son, Texas Gov. Pat M. Neff created the Mother Neff Memorial Park, which later became an early unit of the Texas State Park System. In 1934, former Gov. Neff deeded 250 acres and Frank Smith added three acres to the existing memorial park. The state park opened to the public in 1937.

For information about the groundbreaking ceremony or the state park, call (254) 853-2389 or visit online: /state-parks/mother-neff.