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Mother Neff State Park Set to Almost Double in Size

by | May 30, 2012

The state's first official Texas State Park will grow to almost 400 acres thanks to action taken 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.

—courtesy TPWD

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