|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-10-22                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
Oct. 22, 2009
New Game Warden Training Center Construction On Track
AUSTIN, Texas -- Phase one of construction on a new $20 million Texas Game Warden Training Center in Hamilton County is proceeding on schedule and on budget and is set to be completed by the end of December.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials say the new facilities were needed to replace aging, outdated facilities and to better meet current and future needs in training cadets to meet the expanded role of modern game wardens.
For more than 30 years, game warden cadets trained in a converted warehouse on 6.2 acres in central Austin or at a patchwork of borrowed facilities around the state. That changed in fall 2008 when the 54th Texas Game Warden Academy cadet class began training on a 220-acre property in Hamilton County.
The first phase of construction now nearing completion at the new site includes a new education building, administration building, gymnasium, a remodeling of the exterior of the dining hall, the installation of site utilities, the construction of roads, parking and landscaping.
Funds are currently being raised for the final phase of construction, which will include the installation of a pool to practice water rescues, a maintenance building, a firing range, a course for operating emergency vehicles and a helicopter pad, as well as the remodeling of eight other buildings and the dining hall kitchen. (See complete plans online.)
The new facilities will allow cadets to get out of the classroom and train in the sort of environment that they will one day be working in, said Major Danny Shaw, director of training at the academy.
"We needed a new training center because the old warehouse didn't lend us the ability to do the training we had to do," he said. "We can do ATV training here, we can do 4-wheel drive vehicle training, and scenario-based training, like checking up on a group of dove hunters or duck hunters, or somebody fishing. It affords us the opportunity to realistically set up this scenario-based training just outside the classroom door."
The property was donated by the nonprofit Police Activities League, and the project was envisioned from the beginning as a public-private partnership.
The Texas Legislature authorized an initial infusion of $3.6 million from the sale of the Austin property to begin construction on 39,000 square feet of instructional, administrative and residential facilities. Along with the state's initial investment, private donors have so far given about $6.4 million, altogether providing about half the estimated $20 million that will be required to complete construction of facilities that will be home to 48 cadets and 16 instructors at a time.
"Every day, every night, for more than a century, Texas game wardens have epitomized community-based conservation law enforcement across our state," said Peter Holt, chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. "They put their lives on the line, take educational messages to schools, save lives during hurricanes and floods, and do it all with a positive, can-do outlook. Sometimes they pay the ultimate price. Now, with this training center, game wardens could use some help. We hope the people of Texas will respond with donations to help us meet our fundraising goal."
Since 1895, Texas game wardens have built a reputation as "off-the-pavement" peace officers with a heritage second only to the legendary Texas Rangers. Sixteen have died in the line of duty.
That tradition of service is carried on today by more than 500 men and women who reflect the diversity of the people of Texas. They come from small towns and some of the nation's largest urban areas. Many have degrees in criminal justice or wildlife management or biology. Others studied the humanities, and worked as bankers and graphic designers, city cops and schoolteachers, before gaining entrance to the Game Warden Academy.
Something they all have in common is their dedication and desire to serve the people of Texas, and to help conserve the state's natural and cultural resources.
Only about 10 percent of applicants to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's law enforcement training program make the cut each year. Those who are accepted undergo the most rigorous training of any peace officer in Texas, and are widely acclaimed as some of the best-trained and best-educated conservation law enforcement officers in the nation. It's a program with an international reputation.
Major donors to the Texas Game Warden Training Center include William P. Clements, Lee M. Bass, TXU, T.D. Friedkin, T.L.L. Temple Foundation, Edwin L. Cox, Walter Umphrey and the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation.
The public can see maps, plans, and other information about the new training center, including how to make a tax-deductible donation to support construction of the training center, at the Texas Game Warden Training Center Web site.
Editors: News photos, a map graphic showing proposed facilities and artist's drawings of various buildings are available for news media in the Game Warden Training Center News Roundup on the TPWD Web site.
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
Oct. 22, 2009
Texas Parks & Wildlife Seeks Partners To Co-Market Life's Better Outside® Campaign
(AUSTIN) TX -Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking additional partners for its 2010 Life's Better Outside® cause-related marketing initiative with retailers, healthcare and education partners to reconnect children to the world of nature and the outdoors. TPWD is setting planning meetings with interested parties between now and Nov. 30.
The Inside Problem
In the span of just one generation, the average time children spend inside in front of electronic media has grown to over six hours per day, while time spent outdoors has dropped by over 50 percent. Research shows that these lifestyle changes have been a factor in the rising incidence of childhood obesity, stress and attention problems. Children are losing the benefits nurtured by nature-play, such as increased creativity, resilience, problem solving and cooperation. Author Richard Louv coined a new term for the situation in his book "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder." The alarming trend has motivated pediatricians, educators, elected officials, and people from all walks of life, who are buoyed by expert views that the problem is solvable and efforts to reconnect families with nature could yield great benefits.
The Outside Solution
TPWD has aligned with a national organization, the Children & Nature Network, to help reverse this trend. TPWD's Life's Better Outside® campaign was created to promote children spending more time in nature here in Texas. TPWD will be working with educational and healthcare institutions, media, sporting goods companies, large retailers, and other companies to promote this campaign. Toyota is the founding sponsor.
"TPWD is looking for additional partners and sponsors to join the effort," said Lydia Saldana, TPWD communications director. "We are off to a strong start, but Texas is a big state and we need all the help we can get to increase awareness about the benefits of children spending unstructured time in nature."
"Cause-Related Marketing": A Win-Win for Both the Marketer and the Cause
Cause-related marketing refers to cooperative efforts of a "for-profit" business and a non-profit organization or government program for mutual benefit. The for-profit business partners with a cause, like Life's Better Outside®, that fits with their corporate mission and helps to promote it through their marketing. For instance, a retailer might offer a series of products like food or camping gear under a Life's Better Outside® promotion with the bottom line to encourage children and their families toward a healthier lifestyle.
The statewide program will offer several ways for companies to tap into this initiative. For example, maps and information showing where and how to play in nature, TV ads, online ads, radio ads, online creative and other tie-in promotions are being developed. Interested corporations, non-profits agencies and health care providers are still being sought and should contact Glenda Beasley, TPWD marketing manager, at glenda.beasley@tpwd.texas.gov or (512) 389-4560.
For more information visit, the Life's Better Outside® partners Web site.
On the Net: