Texas State Parks Should Get the Funding the Lege Has Already Designated for Them

Polls repeatedly affirm what many of us know to be true: Texans love the outdoors. And Texans love their state and local parks. In a 2014 poll conducted by Hill Research Consultants, 92 percent of people surveyed agreed that public parks are especially important to families needing an affordable recreational outlet. In good economic times and bad, the parks provide a much-needed source of recreation and activity for Texas families. Texans have always been outdoor people. We fish, we hunt, we hike, we boat. Family traditions spanning the generations revolve around enjoying Texas' amazing natural world. In the last five years alone, state park usage has grown an amazing 40 percent. In 2017, nearly 10 million Texans and tourists visited our state parks.Unfortunately, the state park system wasn't designed to handle the pressure of our fast-growing population. Past funding cuts have left Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with $800 million in deferred maintenance: 61 percent of the restrooms need work, and 220 campgrounds need upgrading. And wonderful natural areas like the new Palo Pinto Mountains State Park can't open until the department has the funding to finish planning and ensure that facilities are in place for the public to enjoy the park.  Continue reading...

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