Letter to the Editor, Legislature approves funding for parks

Letter to the Editor, Legislature approves funding for parks

by Jensie Madden, Comal County, TX, with the Comal County Conservation Alliance Letter to the Editor of New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Published June 11, 2019 As the 86th session of the Texas Legislature draws to a close, I am celebrating the passage of legislation to allow Texans to vote in support of state parks. Thanks to the co-sponsorship of Senator Donna Campbell and Representative Kyle Biedermann along with many other legislators, a joint resolution will allow for the placement of a…

Read More
Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve opens

Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve opens

Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve, Buda, TX – Hays County and the family of the late Gay Ruby Dahlstrom today officially opened the nature preserve named in her honor. “This 384-acre preserve is the culmination of Gay Ruby Dahlstrom’s vision to share her love of the environment and natural beauty with everyone,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said. “Thanks to the Dahlstrom family and our other partners, this space is now open for those seeking the peace and quiet of…

Read More
Commentary: We must act now to save our state parks

Commentary: We must act now to save our state parks

More than 30 million visitors have taken in the majesty of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. Last year alone, more than 10 million visited the Louvre in Paris with such masterpieces as the Mona Lisa. Imagine for a moment the absurdity of locking these treasures away from public view because their buildings fell into disrepair. Yet that is exactly what’s happening to many of our state parks because funds intended for their upkeep have been diverted elsewhere,…

Read More
Confluence Park Awarded Country’s Highest Architectural Honor

Confluence Park Awarded Country’s Highest Architectural Honor

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has recognized Confluence Park with a “2019 Institute Honor Award for Architecture”! The award is one of the highest honors in the architecture profession, celebrating the best contemporary architecture which highlights the many ways building and spaces can improve lives. AIA’s nine-member jury selected submissions that demonstrated design achievement, including a sense of place and purpose, ecology, environmental sustainability and history. Confluence Park was among nine projects honored ranging from an elementary school in Tacoma, Washington…

Read More
State parks a boon to Texas economy according to new report

State parks a boon to Texas economy according to new report

Parks generated nearly $900 million in sales in 2018 AUSTIN — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation today released a new report about the strong and growing economic role state parks have on the Texas economy. The research showed the parks generated more than $891 million in sales activity, had a $240 million impact on the incomes of Texas residents, and supported an estimated 6,081 jobs throughout the state in 2018. The real power in this report is the impact…

Read More
State lawmakers aim to lock in funding for Texas parks, historic sites

State lawmakers aim to lock in funding for Texas parks, historic sites

For nearly a decade, the Texas parks department has hoped to turn a 4,400-acre swath of pristine forest in North Texas into what some hope could be the “metroplex’s playground.” About 80 miles west of downtown Fort Worth, the already-named Palo Pinto Mountains State Park — with a scenic ridge overlooking a lake and more-than-ample space for camping — promises to be a huge recreational draw. But the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has struggled to secure funding from the…

Read More
Devils River SNA designated as first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas, sixth in world

Devils River SNA designated as first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas, sixth in world

DEL RIO– Devils River State Natural Area has been designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), making it the only Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas. As the sixth International Dark Sky Sanctuary to receive the title, Devils River SNA is recognized as a one of the darkest and most ecologically fragile sites in the world. “We cannot be more thrilled about Devils River SNA’s designation as the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas,” says…

Read More
Kolkhurst, Cyrier file bills to constitutionally dedicate funds for state and local parks

Kolkhurst, Cyrier file bills to constitutionally dedicate funds for state and local parks

AUSTIN – At a press conference at the Texas Capitol, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and State Representative John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) today announced that they have filed companion legislation (SB 526 and HB 1214) to constitutionally dedicate revenue from the Sporting Good Sales Tax (SGST) to fund the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “As our state population grows, we must promote and protect our public parks and state historic sites. We can all agree that these special places are vital to our economy and to our Texas heritage,…

Read More
Is Texas’ overcrowded, underfunded state parks system being loved to death?

Is Texas’ overcrowded, underfunded state parks system being loved to death?

More people are enjoying Texas’ 95 state parks than ever. In the 2017 fiscal year, there were 10 million visitors, a 20 percent increase over 2012. Visitation at some destinations has skyrocketed. For example, the number of visitors to McKinney Falls, a small park on Onion Creek in far southeast Austin, nearly doubled in the last decade, jumping from 128,000 in 2008 to 319,000 in 2017. “State parks are the No. 1 tourist attraction in Texas,” said John Crompton, a…

Read More
Texas parks department, advocates pushing Congress to reauthorize key conservation fund

Texas parks department, advocates pushing Congress to reauthorize key conservation fund

The chief of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the absence of the 54-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund is a “substantial loss” for state parks and natural areas. With Congress set to adjourn next week, parks advocates are pushing for lawmakers to revive a half-century-old program that has pumped more than a half-billion dollars into Texas’ parks and natural areas. Congress let the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) expire on Sept. 30. The fund — established in…

Read More