Six weeks from today, Texans will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create more state parks when they head to the polls for the constitutional amendment election. Voters will decide on 14 propositions, including one that would create the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund. Nearly 90 groups have come together in the Texas Coalition for State Parks to support the $1 billion fund, which allow the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to buy land from willing sellers when unique properties that would make for beautiful state parks become available. The fund also allows for the development of these new state parks.
“On this 100th anniversary of our state parks system, we have the extraordinary opportunity to ensure future generations of Texans will have access to more of the open spaces and wild places that make up our great state,” said George Bristol, conservationist, historian, and author of Texas State Parks: The First 100 Years. “The beauty is that these funds have already been set aside by the Legislature from the state’s budget surplus. It just needs voter approval. The constitutional amendment is a good investment of taxpayer dollars with a strong return on investment for Texas’ future.”
Legislation to place the fund on the ballot passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. This is not surprising as in every poll on parks in the last two decades, Texans have signaled strong support for Texas State Parks. In fact, 77% of voters said they would support the constitutional amendment in a poll conducted this summer.
“The Nature Conservancy has a long history of collaborating with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We’ve worked with them for decades to protect nearly 20 iconic state parks and natural areas, including Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Honey Creek State Natural Area and Lost Maples State Natural Area,” said Suzanne Scott, Texas State Director for The Nature Conservancy. “We’re thrilled that now, Texans will have the opportunity to protect even more land and water, conserving vital habitat for future generations.”
The ballot language of Proposition 14 is: "The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks."
The opportunity to vote on Proposition 14 comes at a time when our state is rapidly expanding. Texas State Parks attract nearly 10 million visitors annually, and the current supply of state parks cannot keep up with the demand of our growing population. With the rapid growth of Texas, we must protect Texas' last remaining natural areas today so that they won't be lost forever to development.
A “YES” vote on Proposition 14 will secure land to create new parks in the Lone Star State for future Texans to enjoy. Nearly 90 organizations (full list follows) have joined the Texas Coalition for State Parks in support of Proposition 14. For more information, visit GrowTexasParks.org.
*Political advertising paid for by The Nature Conservancy on behalf of the Texas Coalition for State Parks PAC.
Texas Coalition for State Parks Members:
Access Fund | American Farmland Trust | Apache Corporation | Association of Nature
Center Administrators | Audubon Texas | Austin Outside | Austin Parks Foundation |
Austin Ridge Riders Mountain Biking Club | Backcountry Hunters & Anglers | Bayou Land Conservancy | Bayou Preservation Association | Bexar Audubon Society | Bike Houston | Bike Texas | Blunn Creek Partnership | Braun & Gresham, PLLC | Buffalo Bayou Partnership | Caddo Lake Institute | Cibolo Nature Center and Farm | Coastal Prairie Conservancy | Comal County Conservation Alliance | Creating Common Ground | Defenders of Wildlife | Devils River Conservancy | Ducks Unlimited, Texas Chapter | El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association | Environment Texas | Environmental Defense Fund | Fellowship Southwest | Fin & Fur Films | Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge | Frontera Land Alliance | Galveston Bay Foundation | Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council | Get Outside Alliance | Great Plains Restoration Council | Great Springs Project | Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance | Green Spaces Alliance | Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust | Gulf of Mexico Trust | Hershey Ranch | Hill Country Alliance | Hill Country Conservancy | Hill Country Environment (PHCE) Foundation | Houston Audubon | Houston Parks Board | Houston Wilderness | Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club | McMacCX | National Parks Conservation Association | National Wildlife Federation | Outdoor Alliance | Plateau Land & Wildlife Management, Inc. | Poncho Outdoors | REI | Safari Club International - Houston Chapter | San Marcos River Foundation | Save Barton Creek Association | Save Buffalo Bayou | Save our Springs Alliance (SOS Alliance) | SEED Coalition | Stewards of The Wild | Texans for State Parks | Texas 2036 | Texas Agricultural Land Trust | Texas Campaign for the Environment & TCE Fund | Texas Center for Policy Studies| Texas Children In Nature | Texas Conservation Alliance | Texas Foundation for Conservation | Texas Impact | Texas Interfaith Power and Light | Texas Land Conservancy | Texas Land Trust Council | Texas Outdoor Partners | Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation | Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) | Texas Rivers Protection Association | Texas Travel Alliance | Texas Wildlife Association | The Conservation Fund | The Nature Conservancy | The Watershed Association | Travis Audubon Society | Travis County Parks Foundation | Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association | Trust for Public Land | Zilker 351
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.