+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2014-05-22                                    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Stephanie Salinas, 512-389-8756, stephanie.salinas@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SS]
May 22, 2014
Game Wardens Stress Water Safety
AUSTIN--Since May 9, at least twelve people have lost their lives on Texas waters in boating or swimming accidents worked by Texas Game Wardens, an unusually high number of fatalities before the Memorial Day weekend. With the big weekend approaching, Texans are heading to lakes, rivers and coastlines to enjoy the water. Game wardens and boater education experts are doing everything they can to make it a safe boating season, but could use a little help.
Last year in Texas, 146 accidents were reported by the U.S. Coast Guard, 31 of which ended with deaths. Statistics show many of these tragedies could have been prevented. Nearly 85 percent of boating accident victims were not wearing life jackets.
"The numbers speak for themselves," said Cody Jones, TPWD Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement. "Wearing a life jacket increases your chances of surviving on the water and can prevent your trip from turning into a tragedy."
State law requires that a personal floatation device is available for each occupant of the boat, but only children under 13 years of age are mandated by the law to wear one while the boat or paddle craft is underway or drifting.
Despite this law, last year in Texas, more than 700 citations were issued for children not wearing a life jacket.
It is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993 to obtain a boater's education certificate before they can legally operate a vessel with a rating of more than 15 horsepower. Anyone supervising the operation of a vessel by another must be 18 years of age or older and exempt from the boater education requirement (born before 1993) or have a boater education certificate.
In 2013, 208 citations were issued in Texas to boaters who were intoxicated. And five of the state's boating deaths in 2013 were alcohol-related, highlighting the importance of not drinking while operating a boat.
"If you want to drink before heading out on the water, remember to be responsible and assign a designated driver," said Jones. "Wardens will be patrolling the waters and anyone found operating a boat while intoxicated will face possible arrest and time in jail."
For information about boater education courses, visit: http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/learning/boater_education/internet_courses.phtml
Boaters with the online course certificate may receive a discounted rate from their boating insurance provider.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, 830-928-2239, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov or Brian Van Zee, 254-867-7974, brian.vanzee@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 22, 2014
Zebra Mussel Rules Now Expanded Statewide
AUSTIN - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved a new regulation requiring that all boats operating on public fresh water anywhere in Texas be drained before leaving or approaching a lake or river to help combat the further spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species.
The rapidly reproducing mussels, originally from Eurasia, can have a serious economic, environmental and recreational impact on Texas reservoirs. Zebra mussels can clog public-water intake pipes, harm boats and motors left in infested waters by covering boat hulls, block water-cooling systems, annoy lake property owners by completely covering anything left under water, and make water recreation hazardous because of their sharp edges.
With the destructive invasive species having spread to Lake Belton, conservation officials and water-supply agencies are very concerned that zebra mussels could expand their range throughout the state, including Lake Travis and the other Highland Lakes.
"Zebra mussels have been moving steadily deeper into Texas since they were first found in Lake Texoma in 2009," says Brian Van Zee, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Inland Fisheries Division regional director who has spearheaded the agency's response to zebra mussels in Texas. "Now that they are in Lake Belton, the Highland Lakes are in the cross hairs as are many of the public waters in Central Texas."
David Cowan, Lower Colorado Authority senior water quality coordinator, says the LCRA routinely monitors the Highland Lakes.
"So far we haven't seen any evidence of zebra mussels," Cowan said. "We will continue working closely with Texas Parks and Wildlife in urging the public to help us keep zebra mussels out of the Highland Lakes. The mussels not only are a nuisance, but they could pose serious operational problems for the dams, water intake structures and the general health of the lakes."
While the new measure won't take effect until July 1, TPWD urges all boaters to begin the preventative practice immediately since microscopic larvae (called veligers) hiding in your boat can travel to another water body and cause a new zebra mussel infestation.
Currently in effect in 47 North and Central Texas counties, the new rule requires persons leaving or approaching public water to drain all water from their vessels and on-board receptacles. This applies to all types and sizes of boats whether powered or not, personal watercraft, sailboats, kayaks/canoes, or any other vessel used on public waters.
"The way to comply with this requirement is simple," Van Zee said. "All you have to do is clean, drain and dry your boat. This is critical, because in their initial state, zebra mussels are invisible to the naked eye."
The soon-to-be statewide rule, which is similar to those in other states impacted by zebra mussels, is based on the fact that trailered boats tend to be the most likely way zebra mussels get from one water body to another. Since boaters in Texas travel throughout the state to engage in various forms of recreational activity, from skiing to fishing, the rule has been made statewide.
The regulation also requires the draining of live wells, bilges, motors, and any other receptacles or water-intake systems coming into contact with public waters.
Live fish, including personally caught live bait, cannot be transported in a vessel in water that comes from the water body where they were caught. Personally caught live bait can be used in the water body where it was caught.
Anglers are allowed to transport and use commercially purchased live bait provided persons in possession of the bait have a receipt that identifies the source of the bait. Any live bait purchased from a location on or adjacent to a public water body that is transported in water from that water body could only be used as bait on that same water body.
The rules allow anglers participating in a fishing tournament confined to one water body to transport live fish in water from that single water body to an identified off-site weigh-in location, provided all water is drained and properly disposed of before leaving that location. Anglers are required to possess documentation provided by tournament organizers that would identify them as participants in the tournament.
Movement from one access point to another on the same lake during the same day does not require draining and there is an exception for governmental activities and emergencies. Marine sanitary systems are not covered by these regulations.
"The BRA supports the efforts of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and will continue to assist them in preventing the spread of mussels to our system reservoirs," said Phil Ford, general manager and chief executive officer for the Brazos River Authority.
Zebra mussels became established in Texas in Lake Texoma in 2009. In 2012, they were found in Lake Ray Roberts and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Last year, zebra mussels spread to Lakes Bridgeport, Lavon, Lewisville, and Belton. From an environmental perspective, zebra mussels are filter feeders that compete with baitfish such as shad for available forage. Any impact on baitfish in turn can affect their predators -- game fish such as bass, striped bass and catfish. Zebra mussels also threaten native mussel populations because they colonize on their shells and essentially suffocate them.
"Zebra mussel infestations may also be related to blooms of toxic blue-green algae," Van Zee said. "In 2011, Lake Texoma was closed to swimming for a time because of an outbreak of blue-green algae. The bottom line about zebra mussels is that they are bad news for Texas and we need to do everything we can to stop their spread."
TPWD and a coalition of partners are working to slow the spread of zebra mussels by reminding boaters to Clean, Drain and Dry their vessels before traveling from one lake to another. The partners in this effort include: North Texas Municipal Water District, Tarrant Regional Water District, City of Dallas Water Utilities Department, Trinity River Authority, San Jacinto River Authority, Sabine River Authority, Brazos River Authority, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, Lower Colorado River Authority, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, City of Grapevine, Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
More information, including where water draining regulations are currently in effect, is online at www.texasinvasives.org/zebramussels.
PHOTOS showing zebra mussels and the problems they cause are available for news media use as high resolution .jpgs at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/?g=zebra_mussels
A VIDEO NEWS REPORT about zebra mussels and new regulations to control their spread can be viewed on YouTube at http://youtu.be/eL3kbkGfYjM. A high resolution version of the video may be downloaded at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/files/video/.
A new 1:14 VIDEO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA) done in a B-movie spoof approach, titled "Attack of the Zebra Mussels!," can be viewed on YouTube at http://youtu.be/-NJKYlrqcXw. A longer, previous PSA with more detail about zebra mussels and how to stop their spread is also available at http://youtu.be/E4Y5ILzKgHg.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 22, 2014
Lufkin Family Honored for Land Conservation Efforts
AUSTIN - A Lufkin woman has been named the 2014 recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award, the state's highest honor for private land conservation, for her family's ecological transformation of a sizable piece of East Texas land in Nacogdoches County.
This year's award recognizes Virginia H. Winston, owner of the 3,418-acre Winston 8 Ranch five miles south of Nacogdoches. The ranch is a verdant medley of pine forest, longleaf pine, open range and wetlands providing food and shelter for a resurging population of whitetail deer, quail and Eastern turkeys. But that's not the way it was in the 1970s, when Mrs. Winston and her late husband John acquired the property.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious award is conferred each year by Sand County Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to private land conservation, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) as part of its Lone Star Land Steward Awards program. In Texas, the Leopold Conservation Award Program is sponsored by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, Farm Credit and The Mosaic Company.
"Thankfully for Texas, more and more landowners are quietly yet diligently working to restore their property to benefit a host of habitats and fish and wildlife species," said TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith. "The Winston family has absolutely led by example. Through a substantial commitment of time and effort, they have converted a close-cut tract of land into one of the state's finest examples of exemplary land stewardship. We could not be more proud to recognize them for their important work."
"The nation benefits when private landowners seize opportunities to recover damaged land, as the Winstons have done," said Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. "Families like the Winstons show us that the ethic and spirit of Aldo Leopold's writing and work continues."
Mrs. Winston accepted the Leopold crystal award and a check for $10,000 at the annual Lone Star Land Steward Awards dinner in Austin on May 21.
"The property has an active wildlife habitat improvement program that involves timber management, prescribed burning, invasive species control, and native habitat restoration," noted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Jeffrey A. Reid in his nomination of the Winston 8 Ranch. "It is obvious [the Winston family is] planning for the long-term and not just immediate wants and needs."
Reid's nomination listed these accomplishments:
--Restoration of 180 acres of native longleaf pine, thinning 700-plus acres of loblolly pine to promote forest health, and clearing and seeding 93 acres for native grass and forbs, as well as significant efforts to rid the ranch of invasive Chinese tallow trees.
--In 2007-08, the ranch was stocked with 80 Eastern wild turkeys and the owner agreed to suspend turkey hunting on the property until the population expands and is sustainable beyond the boundaries of the ranch. Already, wild turkeys are frequently seen on the property.
--Management of the ranch's deer population has led to the growth of some trophy bucks. Additionally, 45 white-tailed doe were released on the property to diversity the genetics of the deer herd on the ranch. Since the ranch is low-fenced, this also benefits the deer herd on surrounding properties.
--Employing innovative wildlife management techniques, such as creating clear spaces on the ranch to increase usable habitat for wild turkey hens. These openings, in addition to all pipeline and power line openings, have been planted with native grasses.
--Using the ranch for research, educational and life-enrichment purposes. In addition to often providing access to other private landowners, youth groups, physically challenged individuals, the property is routinely used by state and federal agencies as a demonstration area for southern pine beetle hazard reduction, prescribed burning, thinning, as well as longleaf pine restoration and native grass and forb restoration.
--Using prescribed burning to reduce the threat of wildfire.
"The Winston legacy and dedication to stewardship is entrenched in their core family values," Reid said. "When John Winston acquired the property in the 1970s, it was largely a cutover tract of land. Intensive planting, management, and harvesting have led this property to be held up as one of the premier examples of multiple use forest land and open pine management."
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.govTed Hollingsworth, TPWD (512) 389-4520 or ted.hollingsworth@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 22, 2014
Palo Pinto Mountains State Park to Grow by More Than 100 Acres
HOUSTON -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Thursday gave a green light to accepting a donation of 120 acres that will expand the size of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park near Strawn west of Fort Worth.
The Palo Pinto County tracts being donated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department comprise 120 acres surrounding much of city-owned Tucker Lake within the boundaries of the more than 4,000-acre park. Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, which is not expected to open to the general public for at least several years, encompasses former ranch land in southeast Stephens and southwest Palo Pinto counties just north of Interstate 20.
Although the donated land does not include Tucker Lake, which serves as a drinking water source for nearby Strawn, the new acquisition will add recreational value to the state park by providing future park users access to the lake. The City of Strawn will retain all water rights and control of the dam and spillway structure.
"The acquisition of this additional and important acreage is yet another indication of our strong partnership with the City of Strawn for creation of a new state park and illustrates the trust city leaders have placed in our agency to manage public access and provide recreational use of the lake," says Rodney Franklin, Texas State Parks regional director. "Tucker Lake represents a central feature in the opportunities to be offered at the park."
"The City of Strawn couldn't ask for better stewards to take care of our watershed and our drinking water source. We are very excited about the future economic and recreation opportunities that will open up in our own back yards when Palo Pinto Mountains State Park opens to the public," says Danny Miller, Strawn city secretary.
The Palo Pinto Mountains State Park property was originally purchased in 2011 with money from TPWD's sale of an undeveloped 400-acre Eagle Mountain Lake site near Fort Worth. A public use plan is being drafted to determine the best use of the Cross Timbers Region property that will provide recreational opportunities, while conserving the site's natural and culture resources.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Stephanie Salinas, 512-389-8756, stephanie.salinas@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SS]
May 22, 2014
Recreational Trail Grants Fund Projects Statewide
AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Thursday approved $5.25 million in federal grants for 38 recreational trail projects across the state. Eighty-two project proposals were submitted requesting more than $13 million in funding assistance.
The National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) comes from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases for off-road motorcycles and four-wheelers. The purpose of the NRTF is to create new, or improve existing, recreational trails.
A requirement of the NRTF is that 30 percent of the total funds must be spent on motorized recreational trails, 30 percent on non-motorized trail projects with the remaining 40 percent being discretionary.
Motorized trails project sponsors that were awarded funding include the cities of Bridgeport, Childress, Graham, McAllen, and Trophy Club, as well as Sam Houston National Forest and the Texas Motorized Trail Coalition.
Bridgeport in Wise County was granted $28,960 for improvements to the Northwest OHV Park. The grant money will go towards new trail tools, maintenance vehicle, new signs and radios.
Childress in Childress County was awarded $193,144 for improvements to the ATV and Moto Park Improvements that include a new 13-mile trail, road repairs, fences, a maintenance area, and erosion control.
Graham in Young County was granted $188,400 for the Graham ATV and Moto Park. The grant money will go towards a new eight-mile trail, an access road, a staging area and planning.
McAllen in Hidalgo County was awarded $240,000 for improvements to the McAllen Motocross Park, including a new 2.5-mile motorized riding area, a restroom, fences, and signs.
The Sam Houston National Forest in Walker County was awarded $336,000 for multi-use trail rehabilitation. Improvements include renovation to a 10-mile dirt trail, bridges, a trailer and training.
The Texas Motorized Trail Coalition in Crockett County was granted $400,000 for improvements to the Escondido Draw OHV Recreation Area, including adding electricity and water to sites, an entrance gate, signs, and erosion control.
The Texas Motorized Trail Coalition in Upshur County was awarded $235,571 for the Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area. Improvements include renovations to a 30 mile trail, a maintenance building, trailhead shelters, and parking.
Trophy Club in Denton County was granted $144,000 for the Trophy Club OHV Park improvements, including parking, signs, new fences, and visitor shade shelters.
The non-motorized trail projects awarded funding are listed in alphabetical order by county below:
Breckenridge in Stephens County was awarded $71,680 for the Breckenridge Park Walk/Jog Trail. Improvements include a new .57-mile trail, bridges, and benches.
Bridgeport in Wise County was granted $67,040 for improvements to the Northwest Hike and Bike Park. The grant money will fund a new six-mile trail, a restroom, fencing, new signs, benches, and tables.
Brownwood in Brown County was awarded $200,000 for the Camp Bowie Walking Trail. Improvements include a new two-mile trail, crosswalks, benches and signs.
The Caddo Trail Riders Association in Fannin County was granted $65,800 for improvements to the Caddo Grassland Equestrian Trails, including renovations to a 27-mile trail, signs, water, and hitching posts.
Canton in Van Zandt County was awarded $97,168 for improvements to a city lake park trail, including a new .66-mile trail, new signs, bridges and benches.
Canyon in Randall County was granted $73,168 for improvements to the Canyon Parks bike and jogging trails, including a new 3.1-mile trail.
The East Texas Arboretum in Henderson County was awarded $10,000 for trail enhancements, including new signs, a drinking fountain, tree trimming, and benches.
The Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council in Galveston County was granted $136,000 for enhancements to the Big Reef interpretive trail, including a new 1.5-mile trail, an observation deck, signs, benches and parking.
The Greenbelt Alliance of Denton County was awarded $132,313 for improvements to the Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trail. The project includes the renovation of a 10-mile trail, a bridge, and signs.
The Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition in Harris County was granted $98,280 for improvements to Bradfield Park, including a new 0.4-mile trail, signs, parking, benches and a bike rack.
Hico in Hamilton County was awarded $117,567 for a new hike and bike trail extension. The project will include a 0.3-mile trail, renovations to a 0.4-mile asphalt trail, benches, signs, and a fountain.
The Hill Country Conservancy in Travis County was granted $200,000 for the Violet Crown trail, including a new 0.9-mile trail, a bridges, low water crossing, and signs.
Horseshoe Bay in Burnet County was awarded $110,334 for improvements to the Horseshoe Bay trail, including a new 2.2-mile natural surface trail and signs.
Kilgore in Gregg County was granted $199,510 for the Kilgore recreational trail. The project includes a new 1.7-mile trail, bridge, benches and signs.
Lasara Independent School District in Willacy County was awarded $96,803 for the Lasara community nature trail. The grant will fund new one-mile trail, benches, a bridge, signs, and observation deck and tools.
Levelland was granted $27,594 for the Levelland trail expansion. Funds will go towards a new .18-mile trail and benches.
Little Elm in Denton County was granted $200,000 for the second phase of the McCord trail project. The funds will go towards a new 0.7-mile trail and a bridge.
The Mission Bend Greenbelt Association in Fort Bend County was awarded $96,640 to go towards a Bayou hike and bike trail extension. The funds will be used for a new 0.7-mile trail, new signs, access ramps and gates.
The National Park Service in Moore County was granted $148,260 to go towards the Lake Meredith National recreation Area- South Turkey Creek trail. The funds will go towards the creation of a new 10.6-mile trail.
Olney in Young County was awarded $89,796 for the Olney Walking Park. The grant will help fund a new .33-mile trail, bridge improvements, lighting, signs and benches.
Port Isabel in Cameron County was granted $200,000 for the Galvan-Bejarano McFarland trail. The funds will go towards a new 1.4-mile trail in the Texas Department of Transportation Right of Way.
Raymondville in Willacy County was awarded $48,500 for the Trinity Strand trail. The project will fund a new .33-mile trail, signs, a water fountain and benches.
Rockport in Aransas County was granted $50,400 for the Memorial Park hike and bike trail restoration project. Improvements include resurfacing of a 1.6-mile trail, signs, benches and a water fountain.
Rusk in Cherokee County was awarded $118,830 for the Rusk recreational trail. Improvements include a new 0.8-mile trail, benches, signs, and a parking area.
San Bonito in Cameron County was granted $200,000 for the Heavin trail expansion project, including a new 2.75-mile trail.
San Diego I.S.D. in Duval County was awarded $146,520 for the San Diego Nature and Fitness trail. The funds will go towards a 0.4-mile trail, benches and signs.
Surfside Beach in Brazoria County was granted $153,593 for phase three of the Bluewater trail. The project includes a new 1.75-miles trail, benches and signs.
Texas A&M University-Texarkana in Bowie County was awarded $199,500 for renovations to the Bringle Lake trail. The project includes renovations to a 2.5-mile trail, benches and signs.
The Friends of Trinity Strand in Dallas County was granted $33,984 for improvements to the Trinity Strand trail. The project includes water fountain, bike racks, benches and signs.
Tyler in Smith County was awarded $98,300 for improvements to the Faulkner Park Lake trail. The project includes a new 0.5-mile trail, observation deck, signs, benches and tables.
For more information about the grant awards or the recreation grant programs, see TPWD's grants Web page, phone the Recreation Grants Branch at (512) 389-8224 or email: Rec.Grants@tpwd.texas.gov.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Stephanie Salinas, 512-389-8756, stephanie.salinas@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SS]
May 22, 2014
Maria Araujo Presented with U.S. Coast Guard Partners Pride Award Thursday
AUSTIN-- Texas Parks and Wildlife's International Affairs Director Maria Araujo was named the recipient of the U.S. Coast Guard Partners Pride Award.
The award was presented at the Thursday public hearing of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission by TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith, TPWD Commission Chairman Dan Hughes Jr. and Assistant Commander Cody Jones.
In 2013, the U.S.C.G. Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety began a project to create a Spanish language boat accident reporting form to successfully acquire accident data from a growing population of Spanish speaking boaters.
A boating safety specialist with the Coast Guard reached out to Asst. Commander Jones for help with the project and he employed the assistance of Araujo.
She reviewed the translation of the boating accident form a couple of times and as a result, the Coast Guard was able to reach out to the Spanish-speaking population of boaters and collect data for safety research that will be used nationwide.
-30-

[ Note: This item is more than six months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Stephanie Salinas, 512-389-8756, stephanie.salinas@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SS]
May 22, 2014
Whole Earth Provision Co. Donates Funds to Texas State Parks
Whole Earth Provision Co. presents donation check at TPW Commission meeting
AUSTIN--, Whole Earth Provision Co. presented a check for $26,828 to benefit Texas state parks at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting. The donation was the result of a month-long in-store promotion at nine Whole Earth Provision Co. stores during the month of April, as well as the proceeds from the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour held in Austin in mid-April.
"We are blessed in Texas with an excellent state park system that provides an unrivaled range of outdoor adventures," says Jack Jones, Whole Earth Provision Co. founder and lifelong Texas state park advocate. "These magical places belong to the citizens of Texas and are available for all of us to visit and enjoy."
Throughout the month of April, nine Whole Earth Provision Co. stores in Texas received donations at their counters for Texas state parks. For every $20 or more donation, Whole Earth gave customers a $5 state park gift card redeemable for park entrance fees and merchandise at state park stores throughout Texas. There was also an "Ask a Ranger" in-store event where park rangers answered customer questions about state parks.
As the benefactor of the two-day Banff Mountain Film Festival held at the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas state parks will use the funds to help with state park day-to-day operational expenses and enhanced visitor programs.
"We depend on public-private partnerships with businesses such as Whole Earth Provision Co. to provide additional and much-needed funding to operate our state parks," says Texas state parks Director, Brent Leisure. "The month-long promotion at one of the state's premier outdoor retailers helps us create a park experience that Texans expect and deserve."
State parks offer an affordable way to spend time with friends and family. Children 12 and under are admitted free and a Texas State Park Pass can be purchased for $70, providing free entry to state parks for a year for everyone in a pass holder's vehicle. *Correction
For more information about Texas state parks, or to make an online donation to support state parks, visit www.texasstateparks.org.
Correction: The original version of this news release mentioned a discounted rate for the pass. There are no discounted passes. Return to news release.
-30-