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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

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TPWD News Release — Aug. 21, 2008

TPW Commission Awards $10 Million in Local Park Grants across Texas

HOUSTON — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Aug. 21 approved $10 million in competitive parks and recreation grants for city and county parks and other sites across the state. Grant project descriptions are listed by county below.

Dallas, Travis County, San Antonio and Houston were each awarded $1 million from TPWD’s Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants program. Houston was also awarded $1 million from TPWD’s Indoor Recreation Grants program.

Urban Outdoor and Indoor recreation grants are reserved for communities with populations of 500,000 or more, and both provide matching grants of up to $1 million. Urban Outdoor grants are used to acquire and develop parkland. Urban Indoor grants are for constructing public recreation centers, community centers and nature centers. Once a grant is awarded, recipients must permanently designate the site for public recreational use and agree to operate and maintain the grounds.

Eight other communities across the state were awarded a combined $2.9 million in grants from TPWD’s Outdoor Recreation Grants program, which funds acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation sites for communities with populations less than 500,000.

Seventeen communities were awarded a total of about $760,000 from TPWD’s Small Community Grants program. This program provides matching grants of up to $50,000 for communities with a population of 20,000 or less.

These grants support the acquisition, development and beautification of city parks, seen as the "frontline" in the nationwide system of parks.  TPWD funds can be applied to the construction and repair of trails, ball fields, fishing, boating or hunting facilities, picnic areas, playgrounds, swimming pools, camp grounds, gardens and other recreational facilities.

The Small Community, Urban Indoor, and Urban Outdoor grants are funded exclusively from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account, created by the Texas Legislature in 1993 to help cities and counties provide public recreation facilities. TRPA revenue comes from a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods.

Outdoor Recreation Grants are funded from the TRPA and from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is supported by offshore oil and gas royalties. All are 50-50 matching grants, requiring recipients to provide equal dollars to match what the state provides.

For more information, including grant application forms and deadlines, see TPWD’s Grants Web page or phone the department’s Recreation Grants Branch at (512) 912-7124 or e-mail rec.grants@tpwd.texas.gov.

List of grants and projects by county:

Bexar County — The City of San Antonio was awarded a $1-million grant to develop the 311-acre Max and Minnie Voelcker Park in the north-central portion of the city. Developments will include outdoor-education classrooms and pavilion, trails, overlooks, grove planting, a multipurpose recreation field, picnic units, Oak Savannah and grasslands restoration, interpretive signs, drinking fountains, trash bins, solar lighting, roads, paring and project signs.

The City of Helotes was awarded a $50,000 grant to go toward the development Parrigin Playground. The city requested support to develop three acres of city-owned non-parkland as a public park, and funding will also be used to build a playground, fencing and landscaping.

Coryell County — The City of Gatesville was awarded $50,000 to further develop Raby Park. Planned developments include a splash pad, gazebo, Xeriscape garden and the conversion of a bathhouse into a game room.

Dallas County — The City of Dallas was awarded $1 million to acquire 28.5 acres of land to develop approximately 138 acres into the Elm Fork Athletic Complex in the northwest corner of the city. Plans for Elm Fork include soccer fields, a trail and a 28-acre woodland area.

Denton County — The City of Ponder was awarded a grant in the amount of $50,000 to make improvements to Eddie Duessen Park that include a playground, picnic tables and grills, a pavilion with tables, walkways and restrooms.

The City of Krum was awarded $39,500 that will be used toward the further development of the city’s 19.8-acre city park. The proposed improvements include work on a lighted trail, horseshoe and washer pits, game tables, a climbing wall/boulder area, picnic tables, playground, a butterfly-and-hummingbird garden with interpretive signs, tree planting with interpretive signs, renovation of basketball and volleyball courts and the soccer and football fields, baseball dugouts, scoreboards and the irrigation system.

Ellis County — The City of Garrett was awarded $34, 286 to acquire 0.17 acres to develop a new city park in the central area of the city. Plans for the park include the construction of a playground, pavilion, a trail, a basketball half court, picnic tables with grills, games tables, benches, a butterfly garden with interpretive signs and a rain barrel collection system.

Franklin County - The County was awarded a $50,000 grant to develop a Recreational Sports Complex north of Mount Vernon. Development includes the construction of ball fields, a horseshoe- and washer-pitching area, game tables, a playground, picnic tables and the planting of more trees.

Gregg County - The City of Kilgore was awarded a $50,000 grant to develop Synergy Park practice fields, a collection of sporting fields for football, soccer, baseball and softball in northeast Kilgore. The grant will also go toward building picnic tables, a pavilion with tables and grills, a playground, a washer pit and to purchasing trail-wellness equipment.

Harris — Montgomery Counties — The City of Houston was awarded a $1 million grant to support the development of a 13,000 square-feet community center in Sagemont Park on the city’s southeast side. The proposal includes a multipurpose gymnasium, a classroom, an arts-and-crafts room, a kitchen, a restroom, an office, and storage and mechanical rooms. The City will also receive $1 million for improvements to Herman Brown Park on the city’s east side. Improvements will include trails with footbridges, decks, picnic shelters and tables, benches, a playground, soccer fields, pond improvements, utilities, roads and parking, landscaping, signs and renovating the irrigation system.

Harris and Montgomery Counties were awarded $500,000 to acquire 9.4 acres of land to create a community park in the central southwest area of the Village of Sterling Ridge. The park proposal includes trails, a basketball court, a playground, open play area, benches, picnic tables, a 3.75-acre natural area, overlooks and boardwalks, bridges and signs.

Harris County will also receive $500,000 to acquire 36 acres of land and to develop the 12-acre Highland Glen-North Hills Park located in northern Harris County near Spring. The proposal includes trails, a skateboard park, a playground, a canoe launch, overlooks, picnic tables, benches, a pavilion, a soccer field, a 4-acre wetland dedication, a wetlands interpretive area, roads and parking, a restroom, utilities, fencing and signs.

Hill County — The City of Hillsboro was awarded a grant for $500,000 to expand its city park. The money will be used to acquire 13 acres of land to expand the existing 20.7-acre park. Eleven acres will be dedicated open space, and additions to the park will include a playground, sprayground, pavilions with picnic tables and grills, trails, picnic units, and an open play area. The city will also renovate the tennis courts, ball field, restroom, parking lot and irrigation system.

The City of Mount Calm was awarded $50,000 to acquire 4.77 acres by donation and 1.04 acres from the school district to expand and further develop its 2.6 acre city park. Improvements include work on the baseball-field lighting, bleachers, scoreboard, playscape, a trail, wildlife planting and shade trees.

Kleberg County — Kleberg County was awarded $46,178 for the renovation of the 7.9-acre Riviera County Park, located in Riviera, a community in the central area of the county. The county will also make improvements on its basketball court and baseball field, picnic tables, playground and butterfly garden.

Medina County — The City of Devine was awarded $20,000 to develop 0.8 acres of city-owned non-parkland in the city’s south-central area. The money will also go toward developing a Xeriscape garden with interpretive signs, picnic tables and grills, a playground, benches and a trail.

Montgomery County — The City of Magnolia was awarded $415,400 to be used toward the acquisition of 29.9 acres of land and to develop 7 acres for a city park in the central-southwest area of Magnolia. The park proposal includes trails, pond and habitat restoration, a boardwalk with a fishing extension, a playground, picnic tables, a pavilion with a grill, an amphitheater, interpretive exhibit, tree planting and signs.

Nueces County — The City of Corpus Christi was awarded $500,000 to acquire 28 acres to expand and develop a 61.5-acre park located in the southeast area of Oso Bay. The developments include an interpretive nature trail, an amphitheater, a camping area, teaching gardens, a picnic area with shade and bike racks, habitat enhancement, wetland enhancements with an overlook, beach and swimming access, open-space area and enhancements, a filtration pond and landscaping.

The County will also receive $500,000 to develop 17 acres of land in the Banquete Colonia into a community park. The plans for the park include a Little League field, a softball field, picnic facilities, a trail with exercise stations, sheltered benches, swings, a playscape, a multipurpose basketball court and field, lighting for existing baseball fields, a pavilion, a 2-acre nature preserve and a pond with a pier. The money will also aid in the renovation of restrooms and concession stands and a bird blind as well as the addition of Xeriscape landscaping and improved parking areas.

Rains County — The City of Point was awarded $50,000 to acquire 1.5 acres of land to develop a city park. Plans for the park include a playground, a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, benches, picnic tables and grills, trails, landscaping, parking and relocation of overhead utilities.

Reeves County — Reeves County was awarded $500,000 to acquire 80 acres of land to provide a park and expand the Pecos golf course, located in south Pecos. The proposal includes the dedication of 2 acres for a natural area, the addition of four holes and a putting green, sheltered picnic units, a multipurpose trail with exercise stations, sheltered benches and a multipurpose court.

The City of Toyah was awarded $50,000 to develop 5 acres of city-owned non-parkland to create a city park. The park will include a playground, a trail with exercise stations, picnic tables with grills, a pavilion with a group grill, landscaping with trees and interpretive signs.

Rusk County — The City of Henderson was awarded $500,000 to acquire 15.7 acres of land to expand and develop 19-acre Fair Park in the south-central area of the city. The park will include multi-use concrete trails with historic interpretive signs and exercise stations, a plaza, a pavilion with picnic tables and grills, a sprayground, a washer court, an open play area and a skate park. Other improvement include the renovation of the tennis courts, tree planting and infrastructure construction such as parking areas and roads.

San Patricio County — City of Aransas Pass was awarded $50,000 to replace deteriorated baseball field lighting in the Community Park.

Smith County — The City of Van was awarded $50,000 to develop 20 acres of the 166-acre City Lake RV Park located in the western area of Smith County at the city lake. The additions include paved RV campsites with picnic tables and grill and electrical hook-ups, an art enclave, horseshoe pits, archery range, fitness stations and gardens.

Travis County — Travis County was awarded $1 million to acquire 27.5 acres of land to expand and develop the 779-acre Milton Reimers Ranch Park, located on the Pedernales River in the southwest part of the county. Additions include hike and bike trails, scenic overlooks, a bird tower, a mountain bike-pump rack, a pavilion, a courtyard, shade shelters, picnic tables, benches, fishing nodes, recycling stations, tree restoration and plantings, a history kiosk, interpretive signs, a 27.5-acre endangered species preserve, roads, parking and utilities.

Willacy County — The City of Lyford was awarded $20,000 to make improvements to its city park that includes picnic tables with grills, a playground, a pavilion, butterfly garden and a trail.

Wise County — The City of Rhome was awarded $50,000 to acquire 0.67 acres to develop a city park that will have picnic tables and grills, benches, a trail with exercise stations, a basketball half court, a playground, Xeriscape landscaping, and a butterfly garden with interpretive signs.

Wood County — The City of Mineola was awarded $50,000 to further develop its 2,830-acre Preserve-on-the-Sabine, located south of Mineola on the Sabine River. Planned improvements include a 6-acre lake, trail, fishing pier, picnic stations, tree planting and benches.

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