A monthly newsletter from Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

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Wild Times June 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 John M. O’Quinn Foundation as one of our Centennial Champions.

Established in 1986, The John M. O’Quinn Foundation honors the legacy of founder John M. O’Quinn by supporting conservation, education, health and programs benefiting underprivileged youth in Houston and surrounding communities. The foundation’s long-time support of TPWF has been instrumental to projects that benefit both local Houstonians and Texans at large, including educational programming for Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center, a longstanding community resource in Houston. The foundation is also supporting upcoming enhancements to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens that will ensure that Texans can learn about and enjoy healthy populations of bass, trout, and other freshwater sportfish for generations to come.

And, once again, The John M. O’Quinn Foundation is stepping up to support one of Texas’ greatest natural resources, our state parks system. “What better way to honor Texas State Parks’ first 100 years than by championing its next? Mr. O’Quinn’s entire legacy was built upon his dedication to fighting boldly for his fellow Texans, and the projects slated for each state park will benefit all Texans well into the next century,” said Rob Wilson, III, President of the foundation.

We’re proud to partner with The John M. O’Quinn 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?

Give to State Parks

 
 
 
  Story #2: We Will Not Be Tamed: Alvin Dedeaux  
 

Fly fishing is not just a passion for Alvin Dedeaux. He is also fortunate to make his living at it. 

Considered to be one of Texas’ premier fly fishing guides, Alvin spends his winter and spring months chasing largemouth and Guadalupe bass on his home waters of the Colorado River. In the summer and fall, he can be found chasing redfish in the shallow saltwater flats of the middle Texas coast.

Not surprisingly, family time with his kids is often spent outdoors, including at Texas State Parks.

He’s planning a family camping trip to Guadalupe River State Park in April. Renowned wildlife documentary filmmaker Ben Masters will film part of the outing for an upcoming short film about Texas State Parks, which will be released later this summer.

"Our parks have so much to offer. Especially in a state like Texas that is mostly privately owned, these public outdoor spaces offer a place for families to get out in nature,” said Alvin. “We should all be thankful these treasures are here for us to enjoy."

Alvin is also honored to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Texas State Parks as a TPWF We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador. We Will Not Be Tamed calls us to appreciate the wildness of Texas, the vastness of our Texas spirit, and why we should be inspired to conserve it.

Read more about Alvin and find out how you can live the wild life.

 
  Story #2: Join and Win a Turtlebox Speaker  
 

P.S. Springtime is here! As you head outdoors to enjoy the wonders of Texas, TPWF’s trailblazing sponsor Turtlebox wants to make sure you can set your next adventure to music!

Join or renew your membership with TPWF by April 30, and you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a Turtlebox Speaker.

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 Turtlebox giveaway. Members who join or renew between January 1 and April 30, 2023, are automatically entered in the drawing. The winner of the Turtlebox giveaway will receive one Turtlebox Speaker and speaker color may vary.
 
 
  Story #3: Conserving Precious Bottomland Hardwoods in East Texas  
 

Thanks to a generous donor, a willing seller and a federal grant, the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in East Texas now encompasses an additional 33.9 acres, forever protecting critical high-quality bottomland hardwood habitat. It was one of the last private inholdings within the WMA, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) officials have had their eye on the property for years.

Bottomland hardwoods are home to an incredibly diverse array of plants and animals, providing a safe haven for migratory birds each year. This healthy habitat also provides clean water for humans and helps buffer floodwaters. According to TPWD, Texas has lost more than 70 percent of its bottomland hardwoods in the last century, so every acre conserved is a big win.

The final land transaction that closed on Feb. 1, 2023, was funded through the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA), with a match from a private funder through Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF). TPWF initially purchased the property in May 2022 to satisfy the seller’s timeline before receiving the NAWCA grant.

"We appreciate the generosity of TPWF donors who are helping to make these critical land acquisitions possible,” said Jeffrey Gunnels, TPWD Middle Trinity River Ecosystem Project Leader. “The NAWCA grants require a match to be awarded, and we are grateful this precious inholding is now a permanent part of Richland Creek WMA, which will forever protect this land from being developed."

 
 
 
  Story #4: Celebrating Earth Day with H-E-B  
 

Earth Day is a great reminder every year of how important it is to take care of the world around us. H-E-B takes that message to heart every single day.

H-E-B’s Our Texas, Our Future commitment is the company’s promise to Texans to help conserve and protect Texas’ natural resources by making decisions that are sustainable and environmentally responsible -- from how they source their products and manage food waste, to their investments in renewable energy and partnerships with organizations like TPWF.

Supporting the conservation of Texas’ wild spaces is one of the key components of H-E-B’s sustainability journey. H-E-B wants to ensure that all Texans can enjoy and experience the beauty of the outdoors, which is why they have partnered with TPWF as the presenting sponsor of 100 Years of Texas State Parks with a $1 million donation.

H-E-B also supports TPWF through a new clean and green product line, Field & Future by H-E-B. This environmentally responsible product line helps efforts like restoring the black bear population in West Texas, conserving the coastline and its wildlife in the Gulf, and building Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, the first new state park in North Texas in 25 years.

To celebrate Earth Day this year, H-E-B will be hosting Texas State Park rangers in 41 stores across Texas on April 21 and April 22. H-E-B will also be giving away free reusable bags starting at 10am on Saturday, April 22. Also in April, H-E-B invites you to cut back on plastic waste by recycling plastic bags. You can bring plastic bags to store-front bins, or to your curbside pickup point, which is a new offering that begins this month.

 
 
 
  Story #5: Mission Unstoppable on CBS Features BRI Grad Student Lilly Morin  
 

Pronghorn research in West Texas was the topic for a recent segment of Mission Unstoppable, which airs nationally on CBS. Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) graduate student Lilly Morin was featured in the segment. Lilly was the first-ever recipient of TPWF's Women in Conservation Science scholarship

Check out the segment!

Watch Now

 
 
 
 

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