Texas Parks and Wildlife CO-OP Provides Grants to Texas Communities

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The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Community Outdoor Outreach (CO-OP) Program has awarded grants to communities across Texas.

These 41 grant partnerships, totaling $2,048,678, will support community conservation and outdoor recreation activities across the state and build on the $22 million already awarded by TPWD over the past 25 years.

CO-OP grant recipients include churches, conservation groups, nature centers, nonprofit organizations, school districts, and municipalities.

The following Central Texas organizations will receive funding:

AUSTIN

Austin Peace Academy: $60,000

the Science-Based Camping and Fishing for Middle and High Schools The program will create the first on-campus fishing club for this East Austin Title One school, with day trips for hands-on practice at fishing spots in local and state parks. Science classes will also hit the road, ferrying 110 students to six Texas state parks for overnight camps featuring geology lessons, caving, astronomy sky parties and native plant hikes. .

Central Texas Campfire: $60,000

Citizen Science and Stewardship Program: Youth in the Wild is an extension of the Camp Fire after-school and hiking clubs, integrating Project WILD and the Texas Nature Tracker programs to deeply engage 150 elementary and middle school students in environmental science. Two long-term service-learning projects at McKinney Falls State Park provide monarch butterfly and pollinator data to the iNaturalist program. Students and their families can also participate in overnight camping trips and participate in hiking adventures in state parks.

Partners in Education, Agriculture and Sustainability (PEAS): $59,996

the Connect with nature on campus The program supports four Title One schools with strong environmental education courses. Students spend over 2,800 hours in outdoor learning. The project includes adapting the Project WILD and Growing Up WILD curriculum and supporting 20 teachers. Summer programs also utilize the Archery in Schools program, with personnel attending TPWD Archery Instructor Training.

National Audubon Society – Audubon Texas: $60,000

Audubon’s Conservation Leaders Program for Young Women engages 36 high school students from diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged urban areas in conservation mentorship and leadership experiences. The 12-month program includes recreational and field experiences at state parks, water quality sampling, conservation action projects, and a career panel. A five-day capstone experiment provides an introduction to the Texas Nature Trackers program and a citizen science project partnered with a TPWD biologist to collect data on dragonflies.

DRIP SPRINGS

Nature and eclectic outdoors: $60,000

children of the wild partners with historically marginalized neighborhoods in Downtown Houston to connect with national and state parks, teach outdoor skills, inspire stewardship, and encourage outdoor lifestyles. It offers excursions, day camps and family camping workshop opportunities to more than 500 students, as well as an intensive Student Outdoor Leader program that explores careers in conservation, stewardship and service projects.

GEORGETOWN

Williamson County Juvenile Services Division: $29,000

the GOES! Program provides 150 youth from the Williamson County juvenile justice system with the opportunity to visit local, state and city parks and learn new outdoor skills such as fishing, biking, paddle boarding, rock climbing and outdoor cooking. A visit from a TPWD game warden will provide insight into careers in conservation, and youth will also participate in a service project at Mother Neff State Park.

NEW BRUNEFELS

The Forever Texas Wildlife Foundation: $59,270

Bring out the Texans provides greater access to urban populations and people of color by expanding outdoor opportunities with private landowners. Two Huntmaster programs will train experienced hunters to volunteer as mentors for 10 supervised adult hunts and four supervised youth hunts. A new pilot program, Texas Nature Expeditions, will partner with community youth groups to engage families in birding and bird watching, water ecology and wildlife photography.

SAINT MARK

Texas State University: $59,920

the Spring Lake Outdoor Education Project offers outdoor experiences led by college recreation students trained in TPWD’s Aquatic Science, Project WILD, Archery, and Outdoor Leadership programs. Activities include after-school and summer programs, outdoor sessions with the Discipline Alternative Education program, overnight camping opportunities in Texas state parks, and hiking trips to the Lost Maples and Enchanted Rock natural areas State.

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