Increased funding to bring big changes to Texas' state parks
Sunday, February 28, 2016
The future of Texas State Parks looks bright —exceedingly bright!
Recent legislation passed by the 84th Texas Legislature provides a significant increase in funding for Texas parks. For the 2016-2017 biennium, House Bill 158 dedicates 94 percent of state sales tax revenue from the sale of sporting goods to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
See the Improvements Coming to Parks at
How the New Funding Will Improve State Parks
As a result of the increased funding, there are more than 80 state park repair and improvement projects scheduled, using a combination of new appropriations plus funding from previous legislative sessions. An overview of these projects includes:
Galveston Island State Park beachside will be redeveloped after being destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. The transformational plan includes restrooms, boardwalks to the beach, tent camping platforms, multi-use campsites with electric and water service, group shelters, and day use picnic shelters.
Franklin Mountains State Park will receive a new visitors’ center.
Battleship Texas State Historic Site will benefit from the repair and replacement of critical structural components of the ship.
Palo Pinto Mountains State Park - Engineering and construction design planning will begin for this new 4,400 acre park which is 1 hour west of Ft. Worth.
Repairs to Historic Structures
Many structures at our state parks are historic and in need of careful repair and restoration:
•Historic motor court at Balmorhea State Park
•Indian Lodge at Davis Mountains State Park
•Lighthouse at Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site
•Historic CCC swimming pool and bathhouse at Abilene State Park
•Historic structures and site at Monument Hill and Kreische House and Brewery
•CCC Rock Tabernacle at Mother Neff State Park
•Custodian’s Cottage at Goliad State Park & Historic Site
State Parks Damaged by Natural Disasters
Repairs and/or replacement will be made to facilities and trails damaged by floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Damaged parks slated for work in 2016-2017 includeMcKinney Falls State Park, Bastrop State Park, and Davis Mountains State Park.
General Improvements and Repairs
Nineteen restrooms will be replaced throughout the state. (This will make many park visitors very happy!)
Water, wastewater, and electrical service renovations and replacements will be completed at 13 state parks. Although not usually visible to our park visitors, functioning and energy-efficient utility systems are important to the everyday workings of a state park as they provide reliable water and electricity to visitors.
All of these much-needed repairs will enhance our park visitors’ experience in one way or another. Find out if improvements are being made to your favorite parks at www.TexasStateParks.org/BrighterFuturehttp://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=19796