A monthly newsletter from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

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Wild Times May 2024

As we honor 100 years of Texas State Parks and look forward to our next 100 years, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) is raising $2 million to fund much-needed projects at all state parks. Several generous Texas philanthropic leaders have joined with TPWF to champion the cause by matching all gifts dollar-for-dollar, and we are thankful for the support of The J.W. Couch Foundation as one of our Centennial Champions

Shortly after Jesse W. Couch passed away in 2015, The J.W. Couch Foundation was established in his honor. Born in Georgia, Jesse W. Couch was a military pilot who served in World War II before moving to Texas and settling down in Houston. Couch was a successful businessman who lived a humble life of service and dedication to the betterment of his home community. The Couch family now humbly stewards the foundation he created to carry on his legacy of service for future generations. Led by grandson Sean Couch, president and co-trustee, The J.W. Couch Foundation has already catalyzed great change in its first decade by supporting programs that focus on preserving what is important (Preservation), planning for the future (Education), and taking care of each other (Wellness).

And now they have joined forces with TPWF to support the statewide effort to give back to the Texas State Parks that have given us so much over the last century. According to Sean Couch, “My grandfather held a special place in his heart for the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, which he hailed as a much-needed natural oasis and escape in the midst of Houston’s bustling metropolis. Each and every one of nearly 90 Texas State Parks offers this same priceless opportunity at a Texas-sized scale, allowing millions of Texans to easily reconnect with nature each year. We are honored to support an effort that will benefit every region of Texas for generations to come."

We’re proud to partner with The J.W. Couch Foundation and our other Centennial Champions who love our Texas State Parks as much as we do by matching every dollar raised, doubling the impact of your gift for our state parks.

Will you give back to the park closest to your heart?

Your generosity in support of the Texas State Parks Centennial directly impacts your favorite park and the wild things that call it home. Donate $100 or more, and we will send you our exclusive limited edition EXPLORE bumper sticker for you to proudly display as a second century supporter of Texas State Parks.

 
  Explore Sticker  
 

Give back to the state park closest to your heart today!

Give to State Parks

P.S. Can’t decide on your favorite park? Give to all to support all state parks, and your gift will go where it’s needed most!

 
 
 
  Story #2: Pristine Watershed Protected with Honey Creek Land Acquisition  
 

Thanks to the generosity of many private donors and foundations, 515 acres will be added to the Texas State Park system in Central Texas.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy in Texas, and landowners Ronnie and Terry Urbanczyk to protect the Honey Creek watershed and wildlife habitat in a rapidly growing area near San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country. The $25 million purchase was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, state appropriations for land acquisitions and private donations.

“This acquisition is a wonderful example of what we can achieve through public-private partnerships and conservation-minded landowners who want to help preserve the last, best places in Texas for future generations,” said David Yoskowitz, Ph.D., executive director of TPWD. “We could not have accomplished this without the assistance of The Nature Conservancy and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with Ronnie and Terry, who wanted to see their family land create a legacy for the greater good."

Honey Creek is considered a pristine stream that supports a healthy and diverse ecosystem and meets an exceptional aquatic life-use category based on samples of water quality, periphyton levels and aquatic life taken by researchers at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“Honey Creek is one of the most pristine streams not only in the Hill Country, but in all of Texas,” said Zach Spector, who is director of conservation programs for TPWF. “During the Texas State Parks Centennial year, we’re so pleased to not only be conserving one of our state’s finest streams, but also growing our state parks system by expanding the Honey Creek State Natural Area. This is truly a win for fish, wildlife and people."

 
 
 
  Story #3: Membership Giveaway: Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt  
 

As the dog days of summer kick into high gear, Texas hunters are starting to anticipate cooler days ahead and time in the field. Of course, dove season is a beloved Texas tradition that marks the beginning of the hunting season in early September. We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador John Dunaway marks the occasion with an annual event that has become a coveted invite: the Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt in Brownsville.

One lucky TPWF member and guest will win a golden ticket to the annual Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt in Brownsville on September 22-25, 2023, thanks to John Dunaway and the El Capitan Hunt Club.

By joining or renewing your TPWF membership* between January 1 and August 7, 2023, you are automatically entered to win the giveaway.

Join TPWF today and help support the wild things and wild places of Texas.

Join Now

 

 
*The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the Paloma Blanco Dove Hunt. Members who join or renew between January 1 and August 7, 2023, are automatically entered in the drawing. The dove hunt is scheduled over September 22-25, 2023, in Brownsville, Texas. Entry to the invite-only event, plus one hunt is the Golden Ticket. Lodging transportation are not included.
 
 
 
  Story #4: Download Single Two from Texas Wild with Ryan Bingham  
 

As part of the 100 Years of Texas State Parks Celebration, TPWF, in partnership with Rambler Sparkling Water and Tecovas, has introduced Texas Wildan album featuring Texas musicians as they pay tribute to iconic Texas tunes that showcase the untamed spirit of Texas music. Texas Wild blends the sounds of traditional Texas genres with modern mixes that are sure to please old-school country fans and new listeners alike.

"(Hey Baby) Que Paso" by Fat Tony featuring Paul Wall, the album’s first single, was released in May. The album’s second single, “Possum Kingdom” by Ryan Bingham, is available now on all major streaming services. A third single is slated to be released in August ahead of the full album and limited edition vinyl later this fall.

Sales from the album will benefit TPWF. Listen and learn more.

Listen

 

 
 
 
  Sweepstakes Banner: A Giveaway to Get Away  
 
 
 
  Story #5: 3rd Annual Gear Up Auction - Save the Date  
 

Back by popular demand—TPWF’s 3rd Annual Gear Up for Game Wardens Online Auction will be held on September 26 – 28. Mark your calendars and gear up to bid on an amazing collection of auction items and one-of-a-kind experiences.

The Gear Up for Game Wardens program supports Texas Game Wardens by providing specialty gear to help them do their jobs more safely and effectively. Since 2017, generous donors have helped provide equipment ranging from thermal search and rescue drones to side-scan sonar units and more. Proceeds from the annual online auction provide program support and ensure that Gear Up for Game Wardens can continue its work to get much needed equipment in the hands of your Texas Game Wardens.

Thanks to an amazing turnout, last year’s auction raised over $175,000 to support the program. We’re in the process of gathering fabulous items for this year’s auction, and we hope to meet or exceed last year’s amount.

Save the date for Sept. 26-28 and stay tuned for more details coming soon!  

 
 
 
  Story #6: Taking our Untamed Message to Texas TV  
 

If you are a fan of Texas’ wild things and wild places, you are probably also a fan of Texas Country Reporter, the weekly syndicated television program hosted and produced by Bob Phillips and Kelli Phillips, now celebrating 50 years on the air. Now you have another reason to tune in to the show each week—our new commercial.

Airing now through August 2024 during Texas Country Reporter, our latest commercial features breathtaking footage and a bird’s-eye view of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, Texas’ newest state park! Narrated by TPWF’s We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador Emily Newsom, the pro cyclist tackles Palo Pinto’s rolling hills while spreading our mission to conserve the wild things and wild places of Texas. Texas Country Reporter airs in all Texas media markets, generally on weekends, and nationally on the satellite/cable channel RFD-TV. Check your local listings for details. 

Watch Now

 
 
 
 

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