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Wild Times February 2023

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) is commemorating 100 years of Texas State Parks by inviting all Texans to give back to the parks you love. TPWF is honoring the centennial milestone by raising $2 million to fund exciting projects at all Texas State Parks to complement existing offerings and help our parks thrive for the next 100 years.

And, TPWF is proud to partner with a group of 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.

From dark sky viewing equipment at Davis Mountains State Park to a  pontoon boat for marsh tours at Sea Rim State Park, water bottle filling stations, search and rescue equipment, and so much more, each of these projects will allow Texas State Parks to continue delighting visitors of all ages for generations to come.

We encourage all Texans to give back to the park closest to your home or heart. Visit our dedicated fundraising website, TexasParks100.org, where you can search for projects by map or by category, such as accessibility investments. Your generosity in support of the Texas State Parks Centennial directly impacts your favorite park and the wild things who call it home.

For 100 years, our state parks have been places of awe and discovery,” said TPWF Board Chairman Mike Greene. “We hope all Texans will make a gift at TexasParks100.org to help keep them that way for future generations of Texas."

Donate

 
 
 
  Story #2: Centennial Champions Will Have Donors Seeing Double!  
 

A generous group of Texas philanthropic leaders have come together to champion TPWF’s Centennial fundraising campaign with a Texas-sized gesture: a dollar-for-dollar match! 

Thanks to our Centennial Champions, all donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar—doubling the impact of each and every gift. Centennial Champions include the Fondren Foundation, The John M. O’Quinn Foundation, and The Elkins Foundation, with additional supporters to be announced during the year.

Texas State Parks have been places of respite and recreation for generations of visitors,” said David Yoskowitz, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). “Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has supported parks since its inception in 1991, from the acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch to the development and construction of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, along with a myriad of other projects that have enhanced the visitor experience at parks across the state. We are thankful that, at this moment in our history, TPWF is once again leading the way in marshalling support for our parks, and we are grateful for the Texas foundations that have come on board with this generous match."

TPWF and our Centennial Champions believe all Texans should have access to the wild things and wild places in our state, both now and for generations to come, and it begins with our state park systemGive back to the park closest to your home or heart today and watch your gift multiply!

Donate

 
 
 
  Story #3: Traveling Art Exhibit Honors 100 Years of Texas State Parks  
 

In honor of 100 years of Texas State Parks, a new traveling art exhibit is on display now through April 30 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

The Art of Texas State Parks is a visual arts survey of state parks featuring more than 30 parks by some of Texas' finest artists. The exhibit will travel to several museums later this year, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon.

Along with the traveling exhibit, the project also includes a commemorative book published by Texas A&M Press. Proceeds from book sales and the sale of the artwork through Foltz Fine Art in Houston will be donated to TPWF to benefit Texas State Parks. The commemorative book is available online through several sources, including Texas A&M Press, the Bullock Museum Store and Amazon.

The project was several years in the making. In anticipation of the 2023 Centennial Celebration of Texas State Parks, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum to present The Art of Texas State Parks. Thirty notable Texas artists were commissioned to create works celebrating parks across Texas. Additional support for the project is provided by H-E-B, presenting sponsor for the Texas State Parks Centennial Celebration, and the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation.

 
 
 
  Story #4: Answer the Call of the Wild  
 

Are you a young professional looking to connect with other conservation-minded individuals? Want to get outdoors, but aren’t sure how? Stewards of the Wild is for you!

Stewards of the Wild is a young professionals program supporting the mission of TPWF by equipping Texans aged 21 to 45 to actively participate in the conservation of our wild things and wild places by providing education, networking, and outdoor experiences.

Member-led chapters provide opportunities to participate in outdoor experiences such as camping, hiking, paddling, fishing, and hunting; increase knowledge about public land access; interact with conservation professionals; and join the next generation of conservation leadership.

Join or renew your Stewards of the Wild membership between February 6 and February 21, 2023, and you will automatically be entered to win a Turtlebox speaker!*

Find your chapter and join today!

Learn More

 
*The price of membership pays for Stewards of the Wild only and not for the chance to win the Turtlebox giveaway. Members who join or renew between Feb. 6 and Feb. 21, 2023, are automatically entered in the drawing. The winner of the Turtlebox giveaway will receive one Turtlebox speaker.
 
 
  Story #5: Go the Extra Mile for Texas Quail Conservation  
 

Did you know—four different species of quail hail Texas as their home? Did you also know—quail populations have suffered steady annual declines over the past five decades, falling a staggering 89% in the Cross Timbers region alone since 1978?

That’s why TPWF created the quail conservation license plateto raise critical funding to enhance quail conservation efforts, including habitat conservation and education. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists have partnered with experts across our state to find the best strategies for bringing back this beloved gamebird. And we can use your help!

For just $30, you can put one of these conservation license plates on your vehicle, motorcycle or trailer. For every license plate purchased, $22 goes to TPWF to support quail conservation.

Help us quell quail population decline in Texas. Order your quail conservation plate today!

Order Your Plate

 
 
 
  Story #6: 7,923 First Day Hikers Celebrate Texas State Parks  
 

Nearly 8,000 participants shattered the previous park attendance record for New Year’s Day by ringing in Texas State Parks’ 100th anniversary with a First Day Hike. Texans traveled to parks across the state to hike, bike and paddle a combined 17,190 miles.

What an exciting way to kick off the 100th anniversary of Texas State Parks,” said Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks. “This year, more Texans than ever before participated in First Day Hikes. I am thrilled that I could be a part of the effort that saw Texas lead the nation in the number of hikes, participants and miles hiked. However, the number of miles hiked pales in comparison to the number of smiles created by First Day Hikes in Texas this year. Thank you all for joining us — please come back soon with a friend."

H-E-B, presenting sponsor of the 100 Year Celebration, donated 5,000 samples from its sustainable Field and Future™ product line for visitors during First Day Hikes. The product brand supports a variety of TPWF efforts, such as coastal conservation along the Texas Gulf Coast, black bear restoration in West Texas and establishment of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park in North Texas, the state’s newest state park.

For more information about special events and the how Texas State Parks is celebrating 100 years, visit texasstateparks.org/100years.

Learn More

 
 
 
  Story #7: Point, Snap, Win! Enter Texas State Parks’ Photo Contest  
 

Celebrate 100 years of Texas State Parks with your best pics for a chance to win a Texas State Parks Pass, H-E-B gift cards or even a curated state park experience!

This exciting photo contest kicked off on January 1 with the seasonal theme of “New Year, New Adventure.” Each season will have its own theme and winner, and participants can submit multiple entries, so snap away!  Capture your 2023 adventures at Texas State Parks by exploring a new trail, discovering a cool critter or catching a stunning sunset.

To enter, take your best shot at a Texas State Park or Natural Area, upload your photo(s) here, or tag your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #TexasStateParks and #TexasParks100. Entries must be submitted between January 1 and November 27, 2023.

A panel of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department judges will select quarterly winners, who will each receive a Texas State Parks Pass valued at $70 and a $100 H-E-B gift card donated by TPWF.

Voting for the grand prize winner begins in December, and the lucky winner will receive a Texas State Parks Pass, a $500 H-E-B gift card donated by TPWF and a VIP-curated experience at a Texas State Park.

Learn More

 
 
 
 

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