Dallas’ Audubon Texas, Dallas Parks Foundation, Groundwork Dallas and Fort Worth’s Fort Worth Independent School District and Friends of Cleburne State Park will receive a combined total of just over $150,000 in funding this year through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP). The grants help fund community-based youth and family outdoors-oriented programs and activities like camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking and service projects.
These and many more CO-OP Grant sponsored programs will explore the best of outdoor Texas from the Canyons of Caprock, to the mysteries of Caddo Lake, and the Rio Grande Valley’s abundance of rare wildlife. Along the way, participants will discover why life is better outside. Throughout all of Texas, over $800,000 will be awarded to organizations like these.
CO-OP was founded by TPWD in 1996 to help introduce underserved populations to environmental education, conservation and outdoor recreation programs.
The program is authorized by the Texas State Legislature in the TPWD budget as a specialized component of the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 and may be used to pay for equipment, transportation, liability insurance and up to 40 percent for staffing costs.
CO-OP grant funding is available to tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations, municipalities, universities and local school districts. Over the last 22 years, more than 700 grants have been awarded around the state to assist in this effort.
More details on the North Texas organizations that will receive funding are below.
Audubon Texas – $50,000 – The Audubon Conservation TREKS project will engage 210 youth in weeklong outdoor leadership experiences focusing on interpersonal growth, environmental science competency and outdoor skill development.
Dallas Parks Foundation – $45,509 – The Dallas Outdoor Adventures project will provide overnight camping trips and other outdoor recreation activities such as fishing, mountain biking and kayaking at state parks in the DFW area for 175 participants.
Groundwork Dallas — $20,294 – The Green Team Program will administer hands-on education about ecology, conservation and interpretation activities to 125 youth members and will coordinate nature hikes and paddling trips for 125 additional community members along the Trinity River in Dallas.
Fort Worth Independent School District – $25,770 – The Western Hills Primary Family Wilderness Club will engage 600 individuals near the Las Vegas Trail community of Fort Worth in outdoor conservation classrooms and lead camping trips at local state parks.
Friends of Cleburne State Park – $9,523 – Will administer the SEED Program providing daylong experiences for at-risk youth who learn outdoor recreation skills, explore natural resource career opportunities and participate in trail maintenance service projects at Cleburne State Park.
ABOUT TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
The mission of TPWD is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Find out more on the organization’s website.