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News Release
Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov

Jan. 22, 2009



$4.3 Million in Local Grants Okayed by TPW Commission

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission today approved $4.3 million in competitive grants for community parks, nature trails and recreation centers throughout the state. Nine projects from among 37 eligible applications submitted for recreation grant matching funds were selected by commissioners for funding.

The $1.4 million in matching funds for local indoor recreation grants was made possible by the Legislature’s restoration of appropriations for the 2008-2009 biennium. The money comes from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) program funded by a dedication of a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods that took effect Sept. 1, 1993.

Weslaco received the largest of three matching grants awarded, $567,890, for a Boys and Girls Club Indoor Recreation Center. The City of Weslaco will use the grant monies to develop a 22,000 square-foot Boys and Girls Club located in the northeast area of the city. The club will include a gymnasium, classrooms, meeting room, locker room, restroom, kitchen, storage, offices, utilities and parking.

Brownwood was awarded $500,000 for a recreation center. The City of Brownwood plans to renovate the Coliseum Annex building into a senior/recreation center located in the central area of the city. It will include a large meeting room, game room, media room, office, commercial kitchen, utilities, parking, and Xeriscape landscaping with drip irrigation.

The Valley community of Combes will receive $327,110 in indoor recreation matching funds to construct a 3,320 square-foot recreation center to be located in the southwest part of town in Community Park. The development phase of the recreation center project includes a weight room, exercise room, arts/crafts room, game table room, reading room, multi-use rooms, aerobics room, and game/social room.

TPW commissioners also approved $2.9 million in outdoor recreation grants to help fund six of the 26 eligible projects submitted to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff for consideration. The grants are funded through the TRPA and Land and Water Conservation Fund to local Texas governments to acquire or develop outdoor recreation sites.

Two Hays County projects were awarded $500,000 each in outdoor recreation grants to fund park and nature preserve projects.

The City of Dripping Springs will use the half-million dollars in matching funds to acquire 48.165 acres by acquisition/donation and develop Harrison Ranch Park located in the far north area of the city. The grant will help fund tent camping, trails, a disc golf course, picnic tables, horseshoes and washer courts, playground, open play area, pavilion, eight acres of dedicated natural open space, and signs.

The City of Kyle will use the outdoor grant to acquire 167 acres and develop the Plum Creek Preserve & Nature Trail, located off Lehman Road and RR 150, in the southeast area of the city. Development will include nature and walking trails, playground, open play area, picnic tables, benches, shade pavilion, horseshoe and washer pits, fishing nooks, a scenic overlook, wildflower and wetland plantings, and interpretive signs.

In Burnet County, the City of Cottonwood Shores received a grant to develop Cottonwood Park on Lake Marble Falls on 13.2 donated acres that will be composed of nine recreation areas linked together with by a 2.8-mile trail. Grant monies will pay for pool renovation, a bathhouse, playground and pavilion, a treescape with climbing nets, tree house, skating rink and cleanup and preservation of an 11-acre natural area. There also will be a playground, water garden with seating, skate park including dirt trail for bikes and basketball goal, memorial garden, picnic tables, sand volleyball court, pavilions, open play area, horseshoe and washer pits, jetty for swimming, canoe launch, and exercise equipment.

The City of Laredo in Webb County was awarded a $499,981 grant to develop Independence Hills Park on 78 acres on donated property south of U.S. Highway 359 in the southeast portion of the city. The grant will help the city with acquisition of 15.38 acres and development of a trail, multi-purpose fields, baseball field, softball field, and basketball court, splash park, amphitheater, botanical garden, pavilions, picnic tables, playground and skate park. Thirty-six acres will be preserved as open space.

Also approved for $500,000 in matching funds were outdoor projects in Jones and Joshua counties.

In Jones County, the City of Abilene will receive grant funds to dedicate 5 acres of wetlands and further develop 35-acre Johnson Park and 115-acre SeaBee Park located on Lake Fort Phantom Hill north of the city. Development will include pavilions, amphitheater/outdoor educational facility, nature trails, sand volleyball court, disc golf course, open play area, picnic tables with grills (some shaded), interpretive signs, interpretive playground, benches, wildlife observation station, non-motorized boating access, marked lake trail, fishing pier, and landscaping.

The City of Joshua in Johnson County was awarded a grant to acquire by purchase and donation 19.35 acres to develop its first city park at the corner of Main Street and Shelby Lane in the north-central part of the city. The park will include a trail, playground, ¾-acre pond with fishing pier, two acres of open space, pavilion, sports practice area, baseball field, picnic tables, and native plantings.

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RM 2009-01-22


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