Texans Vote on state Park Funds; What Do They Want in a Park?
All the way at the bottom of the ballot in November — Proposition 14 out of 14 — Texas voters will have a chance to weigh in on a historic measure to create a $1 billion fund for state park acquisition. Proposition 14, a constitutional amendment, would establish the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund, a stable, long-term funding source “for the creation and improvement of state parks.”
The measure, which passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, comes as the Texas State Parks system celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Nearly 10 million people visit Texas State Parks each year, yet less than 5 percent of Texas is public land available for public enjoyment. The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund would constitute the largest investment in parks in Texas history, and would come from a portion of the state government surplus — at no additional cost to Texas taxpayers.
In 2021 and 2022, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department conducted a study of park users to determine how visitors perceived their park experiences and what visitors identified as needs for future positive experiences in the parks — important information as park planners prepare for the possibility of new parks on the horizon.
The survey, conducted in conjunction with Stephen F. Austin State University, covered topics such as recreational activities and key park features. Nearly 67,000 park users filled out at-home email surveys and more than 4,445 participated in in-park surveys.
Earl Nottingham | TPWD; Sandy Durham Photography; Chase Fountain | TPWD
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