|  TPWD News Releases About State Parks and Destinations Dated 2012-05-24 |
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[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Steve Lightfoot, TPWD, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov. Steve Wagner, DSC, 800-654-3766 or steve@blueheroncomm.com ]
May 24, 2012
Texas Parks and Wildlife Accepts $50,000 Check from DSC
AUSTIN -- Dallas Safari Club (DSC) leaders today delivered a $50,000 check to support Texas Parks and Wildlife Department programs for public hunting, conservation, education, state parks and law enforcement.
DSC this year set a record with over $1 million in grants for conservation, education and hunter advocacy efforts worldwide. Texas Parks and Wildlife is the largest single recipient with 2012 grants totaling $67,500.
The latest DSC contribution was presented as part of the agency's Commission meeting in Austin.
Carter Smith, executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife, said DSC grants are helping to fund public hunting and land-lease initiatives, hunter education and youth outreach efforts, Operation Game Thief, life insurance for Texas game wardens and a variety of operational expenses across the agency.
"We're grateful for the generous contribution and our longstanding and important partnership with DSC," said Smith.
"DSC continues to grow as a major force for wildlife, habitat and hunting around the globe, but it's always gratifying to help with important work right here at home," said Ben Carter, DSC executive director.
Funding for DSC grants is generated by its annual convention and expo, always held the first Thursday-Sunday in January. The 2013 event is slated for Jan. 3-6.

[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Tom Harvey, TPWD News, (512) 389-4453 or tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov; Andy Goldbloom, TPWD Trails Grants Contact, (512) 389-8128, or andy.goldbloom@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
$3 Million in Trail Grants Awarded Across Texas
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today approved $3,014,992 million in federal funding for 26 National Recreational Trail Grant projects in communities across the state. The total includes $485,000 in re-allocated trail funds for trail improvements in seven state parks.
The seven state parks to receive trails funding are Bastrop, Brazos Bend, Cooper Lake, Eisenhower, Government Canyon, Lake Brownwood and Martin Dies Jr. The money will go toward renovating existing trails, making trails more accessible, and helping with layout, design and other improvements.
All told this year, TPWD received 82 project proposals requesting trail grant funding totaling $11.5 million--both figures are records, the most ever received. The 10-member Texas Statewide Trails Advisory Board reviewed the proposals and developed a list of recommended projects for funding based on the quality of the project, its cost effectiveness, its impact on recreational trail opportunities and geographic distribution of funds.
The National Recreational Trails Fund comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by the sale of gasoline for use in off-road recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Money from the trail fund goes toward the creation and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails.
The Federal Highway Administration manages the fund and distributes portions of it to states based on a formula that takes into account the state's population and fuel sales for off-road vehicles. Nationwide, the program was appropriated $95 million for the current fiscal year. However, funding for the program is included in the Transportation Funding Bill which Congress has funded through June 30, making only 75 percent of the annual apportionment available to states at present.
The program provides 80-20 matching grants, so that in each case the grant recipient must pay for 20 percent of the total project cost. Dollar amounts shown below are 80 percent of the project cost.
List of sponsors awarded funds for trail projects, by county:
--Angelina County -- Cassels-Boykin Trails, $73,336, new 7 mile hike/bike trail, bridges, benches, signs
--Bastrop County -- City of Elgin, Shenandoah Trail, $77,395, new 0.6 mile granite trail
--Bexar County -- San Antonio River Authority, Helton -- San Antonio River Park Trail, $150,000, new 1.1 mile granite/concrete trail
--Bexar County -- Friends of Friedrich Wilderness Park, Friedrich Wilderness Park Trail, $76,700, new 4.7 mile natural surfaced nature trail, signs
--Bexar County -- City of Converse, North Park Walking Trail, $55,142, new 1.2 mile asphalt trail, benches, signs, drinking fountains
--Brazos County -- City of College Station, Iron Bridge Trail, $76,020, renovate 0.6 mile granite trail, benches, signs
--Cameron County -- City of Brownsville, Belden Trail, $151,274, new 1.0 mile asphalt trail, benches, bollards
--Childress County -- City of Childress, ATV & Moto Park Improvements, $180,024, motorized trail park improvements, fencing, tools, erosion control
--Coke County Economic Development Group, Coke County OHV Park, $50,000, new motorized trail park, restroom, utilities, parking, fencing
--Collin County -- Trinity Trail Preservation Association, Trinity Trail Erosion Control Project, $27,960, renovation/erosion control along 25 mile equestrian trail
--Crosby   County -- White River Municipal Water District, ATV Trails, $141,200, new ATV motorized park, parking lot, fencing, signs, pavilion, tables
--Culberson County -- Town of Van Horn, Van Horn Recreational Trails, $150,000, new 4 mile motorized trail, tools/equipment, storage shed, signs
--Fort Bend County -- City of Richmond, Richmond Trail, $109,280, new 0.9 mile granite/concrete trail, bridge
--Harris County -- City of Baytown, Nature Center Trails, Phase II, $73,350, new 1 mile granite trail, benches, signs, fencing, boardwalk
--Hays County -- City of Dripping Springs, Harrison Ranch Park Equine Trail, $100,000, new 1.8 mile natural surface trail, parking area, signs
--Hopkins County -- City of Sulphur Springs, Buford Park Trail, $63,960, new 0.5 mile concrete trail, benches, signs, bollards
--Jefferson County -- City of Beaumont, Klein Park Walking Trail Improvements, $75,000, resurface 0.7 mile trail, ADA imp., benches, signs, drainage
--Lamar County -- City of Blossom, Blossom Recreational Rail Trail, $100,003, new 1.5 mile asphalt trail, bridge railing, vehicle controls
--McLennan County -- Texas Equestrian Trailriders Association, Waco Lake Reynolds Creek Trailhead, $41,976, restroom, shade, storage shed, tools hitching posts
--Montgomery County -- Sam Houston Trails Coalition, Inc., Richards-Raven Trail Network, $150,000, new 20 mile motorized trail, bridges, trailhead, signs, NEPA
--Montgomery County -- Greater Houston Offroad Mt. Bike Association, Spring Creek Greenway Flintridge Trail, $100,000, new 5 mile renovate 6 mile natural surface trail, bridges, signs
--Red River County -- City of Clarksville, Gate to Texas Trail, $128,000, new 2.0 mile crushed aggregate trail, bridge decking/railing, signs
--Tarrant County -- Fort Worth Mountain Bikers Association, Gateway Park Mountain Bike Trail, $14,372, new 0.5 mile natural surface trail, signs, tools
--Val Verde County -- City of Del Rio, San Felipe Creek Trail Improvement, $149,000, new 0.2, renovate 0.2 mile concrete trail, signs
--Walker County -- Sam Houston National Forest, Multiple-Use Trail Rehab. Phase IV, $200,000, renovate 20 mile motorized trail, erosion control, bridge, signs, equipment
--Wood County -- City of Mineola, Mineola Nature Preserve on the Sabine, $16,000, new 1 mile natural/crushed aggregate trail, signs

[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Lydia SaldaƱna, (512) 389-4557, lydia.saldana@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 24, 2012
Texas Businesses Step Up for State Parks
Whole Earth Provision Co. makes $30,000 donation at TPW Commission meeting
AUSTIN -- Whole Earth Provision Co. presented a check for $30,000 to benefit Texas State Parks at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting today. The donation came from a month-long in-store promotion as well as proceeds from the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which was held in Austin in mid-April.
The in-store donation effort took place for the entire month of April in the company's eight stores in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Whole Earth purchased $5 gift cards from Texas State Parks to give to every customer who donated $20. They actively requested donations from their customers and promoted the effort with signage in stores, post cards, press releases, and through social media. The in-store effort brought in more than $20,000, which was a record for Whole Earth.
"The public and our customers have been very enthusiastic in joining us in supporting Texas State Parks," said Jack Jones, Founder and President of Whole Earth Provision Company. "This is the largest response and the most money we have ever raised in a non-profit fund raising campaign and we had a lot of fun doing it. Texas State Parks belong to us all and we are now eagerly planning future support campaigns for OUR parks."
Whole Earth, a store devoted to adventure, travel, and fun, approached TPWD about the promotion after hearing about the fundraising campaign the department launched in December to help close a state parks budget shortfall. The shortfall was caused by last year's devastating wildfires, record drought and triple-digit heat.
"The outpouring of support from Texans and Texas businesses has been gratifying," said Brent Leisure, TPWD State Parks Director. "Whole Earth Provision Company has been a great partner to us and we look forward to working with them in the future to continue supporting our parks."
Other businesses have also made donations or helped raise funds for Texas state parks, including REI, Toyota, La Quinta Inns and Suites, Geico, and Crestview RV. Thanks to these businesses, and the generous donations of private individuals and foundations, close to $1.7 million of the $4.6 million needed to close the gap has already been raised.
With recent rains bringing greatly improved conditions to most of the state, one of the best ways to help state parks is by visiting them, since about 50 percent of the park system operating budget comes directly from visitor fees. There are many state parks located near major metro areas, including 12 within an hour's drive of Austin, 9 within an hour's drive of San Antonio, 8 parks less than an hour away from folks living in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and 7 about an hour away from those living in the Houston area.
State parks offer an affordable way to spend time with family and friends, and children 12 and under are admitted free. The Texas State Park Pass is a great value at $70, providing free entry to state parks for a year for everyone in a pass holder's vehicle. The pass is also available at a discount for senior citizens.
For more information about visiting Texas State Parks, or to make a donation online, visit www.texasstateparks.org

[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
May 24, 2012
Mother Neff State Park Set to Almost Double in Size
AUSTIN - The state's first official Texas State Park will grow to almost 400 acres thanks to action taken today by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. The commission authorized the acquisition of 142 acres of land to add to Mother Neff State Park in Coryell County.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has worked out a deal with two adjacent landowners to purchase 142 acres of land with high quality natural and cultural resources for $1.15 million to add to the existing 259-acre central Texas park. The acquisition includes infrastructure of value to TPWD that will support park operations and the future expansion of recreational and educational opportunities.
Part of the proceeds from TPWD's sale earlier this spring of 2,014 acres of Fortress Cliff Ranch that overlooks Palo Duro Canyon State Park was used to purchase the Coryell County property being added to Mother Neff State Park. Funds used to make the purchase included federal Land and Water Conservation Funds, which by federal law, requires TPWD to use the proceeds to replace public access to the outdoors for which the funds were originally granted.
The new property includes half a mile on the Leon River, impressive river bluff views, a significant spring, forest habitat and extensive prehistoric archeological resources. The acquisition will provide for greatly expanded recreational and interpretive opportunities.
The state park started out as six acres on the Leon River donated in 1916 by Isabella Eleanor (Mother) Neff. After his mother's death in 1921, Gov. Pat Neff created Mother Neff Memorial Park, which later two years later would serve as the nucleus of the new Texas State Park System.
The former land of the Tonkawa Indians consists of pristine limestone hills, prairies, woodlands and Leon River bottomland about 30 miles south of Waco just west of the town of Moody.
For more information about Mother Neff State Park, visit www.texasstateparks.org or call (254) 853-2389.

[ Note: This item is more than five years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
May 24, 2012
$100,000 Coca-Cola Grant Will Go to Park with Most Votes
Public Can Begin Voting Today to Help Bastrop Win $100,000
BASTROP - Bastrop State Park is making a strong comeback after last Labor Day Weekend's horrific wildfire that burned most of the park, but an additional $100,000 would give a huge boost to help this beloved and iconic state park rise from the ashes. That's the top grant in the national "America Is Your Park" competition, to be awarded to the park that receives the most votes during a promotion that ends just before midnight on July 15.
Everyone who loves Bastrop State Park can make a difference by casting a vote at Coca-Cola's www.livepositively.com/parks. And while on the Website be sure to register your FourSquare account so you can earn the park 100 votes simply by "checking in" when you visit the park.
Help spread the "love" for Bastrop State Park by telling your family and friends to vote, too, and by posting the link on your Facebook and your other social media accounts. Remember that you can go online daily to cast your vote for Bastrop State Park up until the deadline.
"While all of our state parks deserve support and would benefit from the $100,000 grant in these times of budget shortfalls," says Texas State Parks director Brent Leisure, "rallying around hard-hit Bastrop State Park will give us the best chance to win the cash to continue restoring the national landmark and the Lost Pines ecosystem. This is a grassroots effort that, to be successful requires, support from not only the Bastrop community, but from park-lovers throughout Texas."
If Bastrop State Park collects the most votes in this third annual national competition, the $100,000 award would be used to keep American YouthWorks members working at the park to advance the recovery of the park's infrastructure and forest landscape, according to Leisure.
The Bastrop State Park voting campaign already is receiving support from both the public and private sectors, including Greater Austin Merchants Association and the City of Bastrop. Campaign sponsor Coca-Cola will also be giving Bastrop State Park $10,000 to fund a trail-building event at the park on June 20 and help spread awareness of the promotion.
Since last year's tragic Labor Day fire that hit 96 percent of the 6,500-acre state park, $262,000 in donations for Bastrop State Park recovery have come from a variety of sources. The donations have helped TPWD initiate a contract with American YouthWorks to assist with restoration efforts that include clearing downed trees and other debris, restoring park trails and constructing hand-hewn pine log bridges.
Despite the destruction of much of its loblolly pine forests, Bastrop State Park is seeing the growth of some vegetation and the return of loyal park customers who are returning to camp, rent a cabin, fish, play golf, picnic and listen for the chirp of the park's endangered Houston toads. Visitors can stay at all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs, and 80 percent of the park trails have been reopened.
Bastrop's Lost Pines wildfire - the most destructive in Texas history - resulted in a three-month closure of the state park, causing serious financial losses for a site that draws 170,000 visitors a year and has an annual $2 million economic impact on Bastrop County.
Coca-Cola collaborated with the National Park Foundation, America's State Parks and the National Recreation & Park Association to develop the grants campaign. Coca-Cola's "Live Positively" initiative also awards a $50,000 and $25,000 grant to the next two runners-up in votes received. In addition, one of the remaining Top 25 vote-getters will be selected in a random drawing to receive a $15,000 grant.
Bastrop Area Flyer (PDF)
Statewide Flyer (PDF)
How To Vote For Bastrop State Park To Win (PDF)