AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation board of trustees voted to donate $500,000 to Texas State Parks, which are facing a $4.6 million revenue shortfall caused by heat, drought, wildfires and a drop in park visitation.
“Our hope is to encourage many other donors large and small to step up and help keep our Texas State Parks open,” said Kelly Thompson, TPW Foundation board chairman. “Our mission is to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and there has never been a greater need for private support of our parks. We will be aggressively seeking donations for state parks from private individuals, corporate partners, and other foundations to help reach the $4.6 million goal.”
Not counting the foundation's donation, more than $460,000 has been raised since Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials appealed for help Dec. 6. That includes online and mailed donations and contributions through the new Texas motor vehicle opt-in donation program.
“We are deeply grateful to the foundation for today’s generous contribution, and to all those who have donated in recent weeks,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “We have a long way to go yet, but with this gift we have raised close to $1 million toward our $4.6 million goal, a remarkable achievement in a short time. This is yet another indication of how much Texans care about their state parks.”