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Wild Times July 2024

Solar Eclipse Celebrations Abound at Texas State Parks

With more than 12.5 million Texans residing within the path of totality of Monday’s total solar eclipse—and thousands more local and distant spectators who were able to snag a spot along Texas’ 500-mile-long swath of the moon’s shadow—tens of millions of Texans can now mark this rare celestial experience off their bucket list.

Even clouds couldn’t keep the crowds away from the more than 30 Texas State Parks within the eclipse’s path of totality. Whether viewing from the summit of Enchanted Rock, the top of Old Baldy, while paddling Inks Lake or discovering Dinosaur Valley, April 8, 2024, was a day Texans won’t soon forget. And thanks to a donation from Lyda Hill Philanthropies through Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, a variety of specialty equipment was on hand to make the experience even more memorable, including 20,000 eclipse safety glasses, tabletop sun-spotter telescopes, telescope tripods and solar filters, binocular filters, smartphone sun photography adapters, and even eclipse-themed books.

It's never too early to start making plans for August 23, 2044, which will be your next opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse in North America.

  Story #2: Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Comes Into Bloom  

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park Comes Into Bloom

More than just wildflowers are sprouting from our Texas soil this spring. The walls are going up on Palo Pinto Mountains State Park’s visitor center, bringing into bloom Texas’ newest state park in a generation. Located just 75 miles west of Fort Worth, Palo Pinto Mountains State Park will attract upwards of 75,000 annual visitors to enjoy its nearly 5,000 acres of rolling hills, stunning vistas, and the picturesque 90-acre Lake Tucker.

Vertical construction officially began in late 2023, and TPWF is overseeing the project management of construction of the park’s visitor amenities, including a natural playscape, lakefront fishing pier, pavilion, visitor center (pictured above), and walk-in, backcountry, and equestrian campsites. Construction is estimated to take approximately 18 months, and we anticipate all park facilities will open sometime in 2025.

For the latest news and a sneak peek of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, be sure to follow the park’s Instagram and Facebook pages, or check out their latest Ranger Notes. We can’t wait to welcome you to this rare North Texas treasure!

  Story #3: In the Market for a Texas Wild Album? You’re in Luck!  

In the Market for a Texas Wild Album? You’re in Luck!

We are excited to announce that TPWF’s Texas Wild album has been chosen as the first album to be featured by the brand-new Luck Family Record Club. According to our friends at Luck, “Texas Wild is a natural fit for Luck Family Record Club—it is raw, and it is real. We share with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, producer Walker Lukens, and the artists behind the album an unwavering love for the rogue stylings that define Texas at its core, from the arts to nature."

Join the Luck Family Record Club by April 30 for a limited edition vinyl of Texas Wild, and each month you can expect to receive a hand-picked vinyl record the Lucky Family thinks is a must in your collection.

More limited edition vinyl albums will soon be available through texaswildalbum.org. Pre-order your vinyl album or download the digital album here. Sales from the album will benefit TPWF.

  Story #4: H-E-B: Supporting Texas Conservation on Earth Day and Every Day  

HEB: Supporting Texas Conservation on Earth Day and Every Day

With Earth Day fast approaching on April 22, our partners at H-E-B are already busy celebrating Earth Month by supporting environmental stewardship initiatives and events across Texas as part of their Our Texas, Our Future commitment.

This year, H-E-B Community Recycling Grants totaling $250,000 will fund projects in Bandera, Burleson, and Fayette counties, and Ingleside, expanding and improving recycling access for nearly 130,000 residents. H-E-B is also in the middle of their annual School Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge, with a record-breaking 675 schools joining the challenge. Last year, 600 schools participated in the popular challenge, collecting more than 4 million plastic bags that were recycled. These are just two of the many initiatives H-E-B will take part in during April in addition to volunteering at events in the many communities H-E-B serves. You can find full details here.

On Earth Day weekend, H-E-B will host multiple events in Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and more, including the Our Texas, Our Future Wildlife & Environmental Festival at Austin’s Waterloo Park on Sunday, April 21. The free festival will feature interactive exhibits, wildlife demonstrations, sustainability workshops, guided garden tours, a variety of hands-on art and STEM workshops, and a screening of H-E-B’s Our Texas, Our Future docuseries, made in partnership with Fin & Fur Films. TPWF will be there, too, so be sure to stop by to learn more about the exciting projects we are working on with H-E-B to benefit our wild things and wild places.

H-E-B’s generous support for important Texas conservation initiatives doesn’t begin or end with Earth Month. Since 2022, H-E-B has bolstered coastal conservation along the Matagorda Peninsula, black bears restoration in West Texas, and the establishment of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park through sales of their Field & Future by H-E-B™ line of eco-friendly products.

  Join TPWF Today!  
  Story #5: Kick Off a Second Century of Texas State Parks with Two Great Reads  

Kick Off a Second Century of Texas State Parks with Two Great Reads

As we welcome a promising new century of Texas State Parks, it’s the perfect time to reflect on our last century and how a six-acre donation in 1921 grew to 88 state parks, historic sites, and natural areas that represent over 640,000 acres of public land in 2023. This amazing story is captured in two commemorative books:

The Art of Texas State Parks: A Centennial Celebration 1923-2023

For this visually stunning book, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department asked 30 Texas artists to paint 65 state parks, natural areas, and historic sites. What materialized is a truly astounding collection, which is captured in this limited-edition book, written by Andy Sansom. Proceeds will be donated to TPWF to benefit Texas State Parks. Available through Texas A&M University Press and most online retailers.

Texas State Parks, The First 100 Years

Arguably Texas State Parks’ fiercest champion, conservationist George Bristol details the rich history behind the establishment and extraordinary first 100 years of Texas State Parks. The book marks a culmination of Bristol’s lifelong passion and is a collectible must-have for all park lovers and enthusiasts. Purchase here or through most online retailers.

  Story #6: TPWF is Coming to Texas TV!  

TPWF is Coming to Texas TV!

Are you fan of Texas’ wild things and wild places? Then you will want to check out our new commercial!

Airing now through August 2024 during Texas Country Reporter, our latest commercial features some of Texas’ most breathtaking wild places and most spectacular wild things, all while spreading our mission to conserve the lands, waters, and wildlife 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.



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