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Wild Times July 2024

Field & Future by H-E-B, Helping Keep Texas Wild

Our friends at H-E-B are steadfast in their Our Texas, Our Future commitment. Thanks to a thriving partnership between H-E-B and Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), H-E-B has donated more than $338,000 to TPWF since 2022 through H-E-B’s Field & Future line of clean and green products. As part of April’s Earth Day celebration, H‑E‑B presented a Texas-sized check to commemorate the donation, which has fueled multiple efforts across the state, including the creation of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park in North Texas, black bear research in West Texas, and coastal conservation efforts along our Texas Coast.

Also on Earth Day, H-E-B shared lots of love for Texas State Parks, with the distribution of 265,000 free reusable bags across the state, featuring a stunning image of Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas’ largest state park with over 300,000 acres of wild terrain.

 
  H-E-B Earth Day Bag  
 

The Earth Day tote highlights H-E-B’s Our Texas, Our Future commitment to increase awareness and education around sustainability efforts that help preserve land, water, and air in Texas.

No wonder H-E-B is Texas’ favorite grocery store!

Thank you, H-E-B, for keeping Texas wild!

 
 
 
  Story #2: Time for a Refresh at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center  
 

Time for a Refresh at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

The dust is flying at the Edwin L. Cox, Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens as construction crews are hard at work on a massive, multi-million-dollar renovation. TPWF is raising the needed funds and is overseeing management of the renovations, which includes refurbishing the popular Dive Theater and its 25,000-gallon dive tank, renovating four large outdoor aquaria exhibits, installing four new outdoor fisheries tanks, and enhancing the indoor exhibits and overall visitor experience.

The facility opened in 1996 and has welcomed more than a million visitors. As part of the exciting refresh, new and improved display aquariums will be installed, a colossal effort that required the draining of display tanks and ponds and finding new temporary homes for the many fish on display.

Our two large alligator gar, which have been featured on shows like River Monsters and Monster Fish, have been at TFFC since it opened in 1996,” said TFFC Director Tom Lang. “These two, along with a monster blue catfish and a bigmouth buffalo, took a bucket-list road trip beyond the Texas border! They are currently swimming around the iconic Bass Pro Shops pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee, where our partners at Bass Pro are taking great care of them until we are ready to welcome them back home. Some of our other fish are soaking up the sights at the Caldwell Zoo, Cameron Zoo, and other Bass Pro Shops throughout Texas."

Construction will continue through early 2025 with an expected grand reopening next spring. In the meantime, TFFC’s fish hatchery, Toyota ShareLunker program, and other vital statewide programs continue to operate.

"We can’t wait to reopen our doors and show you a reimagined TFFC,” said Lang. “In addition to brand new big aquariums coming in, we are adding an aquarium just for ShareLunkers. It’s a real thrill to be able to offer rising generations of aspiring anglers a glimpse at these huge fish that were once someone’s catch of a lifetime!"

 
 
 
  Story #4: A Toast to Garrison Brothers  
 

A Toast to Garrison Brothers

Earlier this spring, Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye celebrated Texas Independence Day with a Texas-sized event that included a steak cook-off by local chefs, Garrison Brothers’ offerings like their signature Balmorhea Old Fashioned, a silent auction, and a musical performance by Noah Kurtis.

And just like a great cocktail, the event came with a twist—every sip, bite, and bid at the gathering gave back to TPWF to help ensure the wild beauty of Texas thrives for generations to come. The event raised over $22,000 for Texas’ wild things and wild places while raising awareness of TPWF and our mission. This month TPWF was treated to a visit from Founders Dan and Nancy Garrison, who transported their “big check” all the way from Hye to our Dallas office so we could toast our shared efforts in person.

 
 
  Story #5: Join TPWF During May—American Wetlands Month  
 

Join TPWF During May—American Wetlands Month

Texas is home to a variety of wetland habitats, from the stunning deepwater swamp that is Caddo Lake to the playa lakes of the Texas Panhandle, to the freshwater marshes along Texas rivers and streams, to the many miles of freshwater and saltwater marshes concentrated along our Gulf.

May is American Wetlands Month, a month when a flurry of wildlife activity is taking place in and around our coastal wetlands. While vital pollinators including monarch butterflies follow the Central Flyway back to Texas and beyond, wintering songbirds and shorebirds uproot their winter roosts along the Texas Coast to fly the Central Flyway home. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles emerge from the Gulf of Mexico for their annual pilgrimage to lay their eggs while hundreds of species of songbirds, waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds flit and forage along our coastal wetlands and shores.

TPWF is committed to supporting Texas wetlands and all of Texas’ myriad vital habitats. With the help of our supporters, TPWF was instrumental in the permanent conservation of Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area, encompassing 17,351 acres of pristine coastal prairie. We’ve also conserved over 6,700 acres of pristine barrier habitat along the Matagorda Peninsula, a diverse salt marsh bay ecosystem that includes wetlands, sand beaches, mature sand dune systems, back-dune habitats, strand prairies, and lagoons.

TPWF is able to support wild things and wild places in every corner of our great state because of the support we receive from our members.

When you join as a member of TPWF, you become a partner in our conservation efforts of our wild Texas treasures. 

Become a member of TPWF today!

 
 
 
 

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