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Dallas Foundation Donates $850k to Bastrop Cleanup

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    TK
    AP
    A house burns off of Texas State Highway 21, Tuesday afternoon Sept. 6, 2011. One of the most destructive wildfires in Texas history is plowing across rain-starved grasslands now littered with hundreds of charred homes. (AP Photo/Ryan Edwards/The Daily Texan)

    The Dallas-based Meadows Foundation is donating $850,000 to help recovery from wildfires that burned much of popular Bastrop State Park last month.

    Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith announced the grant Thursday from the private foundation established in 1948 by Dallas oilman Algur Meadows and his wife, Virginia.

    Smith says it's a wonderful example of private philanthropy helping Texas recover from the fires that consumed 34,000 acres, including the park about 30 miles east of Austin. Two people also were killed and nearly 1,600 homes destroyed.

    The gift will be divided among six governmental and non-profit agencies.

    The park's signature "Lost Pines" were destroyed but 13 cabins, built during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, were saved. Officials are hoping to reopen the park in December.