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«Recreation Plan Recreation Grants Branch State Parks Division 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744 © 2012 TPWD. PWD ...»

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Texas Outdoor

Recreation Plan

Recreation Grants Branch

State Parks Division

4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744


© 2012 TPWD. PWD RP P4000-1673 (10/12)

In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available

at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries.

TPWD receives federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal

agencies. TPWD is therefore subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, in addition to state anti-discrimination laws. TPWD will comply with state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any TPWD program, activity or event, you may contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Assistance, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop: MBSP-4020, Arlington, VA 22203, Attention: Civil Rights Coordinator for Public Access.

Acknowledgements Thank you for the support and many hours of hard work that so many of you put in to complete this project.

Project Staff Dana Lagarde Recreation Grants Branch, State Parks Division Roxane Eley Recreation Grants Branch, State Parks Division Tim Hogsett Recreation Grants Branch, State Parks Division Primary Authors Andee Chamberlain Support Services Program, Infrastructure Division Chris Beckcom Planning and Geospatial Resources, State Parks Division Dana Lagarde Recreation Grants Branch, State Parks Division Garett Sansom Volunteer Consultant, Epidemiology and Public Health Professional Kelly Dziekan Marketing and Consumer Research, Communications Division Lana Marbach Land Acquisition, Executive Administration Lindsay Sansom Recreation Grants Branch, State Parks Division Nancy Herron Outreach and Education, Communications Division Roxane Eley Recreation Grants Branch, State Parks Division Scott Stover Administration Program, Infrastructure Division Tim Birdsong Habitat Conservation Branch, Inland Fisheries Division Other Contributors Beth Sample Creative Services, Communications Division Cappy Smith Aquatic Education, Communications Division Chris Holmes Interpretive Services Program, State Parks Division Darlene Lewis Recreation Grants Branch, State Parks Division Dyanne Cortez

–  –  –

Letter from the Governor


Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1 – Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Overview

Chapter 2 – A Sense of Place: The Lone Star State

Chapter 3 – Texas Wetlands

Chapter 4 – Inventory of Outdoor Recreation Lands

Chapter 5 – Outdoor Recreation Demand

Chapter 6 – The Economic Value and Impact of Outdoor Recreation

Chapter 7 – The Value of Parks and Recreation in Physical, Mental and Social Well-Being

Chapter 8 – Sustainable Park Design

Chapter 9 – Historical Progression of Texas Recreation Grants

Chapter 10 – Open Project Selection Process

Chapter 11 – Plan Recommendations


Appendices A – Land and Water Conservation Fund Act

B. – Legal Authority

C – State Strategies met by the Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan

D – List of Acronyms

E – Survey Results

F – The Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan

G – Scoring Criteria

H – Master Plan Guidelines

I – State Parks Funded with LWCF

iii Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Table of Contents


2.1 – Ten States in the U.S. with the Largest Population Increase, 2000-2010................

2.2 – Population, Population Change, and Proportion of the Total Population by Race/Ethnicity for Metropolitan Central City Counties in Texas, 2000 and 2010......

4.1 – Data Structure Attributes

4.2 – Ecoregions and Recreation-Conservation Acres

4.3 – Top 10 County by Recreation-Conservation Acres

4.4 – Ten Most Populace Counties by Recreation-Conservation Acres/Capita.................

4.5 – Top 10 Counties by Recreation-Conservation Acres/Capita

5.1 – Percent of Population Participating in Outdoor Recreation Activities in the U.S., 1982-2009

5.2 – Comparison of Top 10 Outdoor Recreation Activities for White/Non-Hispanics and Hispanics in Texas, 2006-2009

5.3 – Participation in Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Watching in U.S.

(Residents 16 and older)

5.4 – Participation in Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Watching in Texas (Residents and Non-Residents 16 and older)

5.5 – Percent of Population Participating in Recreational Boating in U.S.

5.6 – Participation in Camping in U.S. and Texas

5.7 – Total Number of Motor Homes and Travel Trailer Registrations in Texas, 2004-2011

5.8 – Percent of U.S. and Texas Residents Participating in Viewing/Photographing Birds, 2000-2009

5.9 – Outdoor Recreation Provider Respondents by MSA

5.10 – Recreation Providers Rate the Usefulness of a System-Wide Plan

5.11 – Recreation Providers Rate the Level of Difficulty with Funding

5.12 – Recreation Providers Rate the Level of Difficulty with Management

5.13 – Recreation Providers Rate the Level of Difficulty with Meeting Public Needs........

5.14 – Top 5 Facilities Needed Now in Local Parks by Recreation Providers

5.15 – Barriers that Limit Visitors to Parks, Percent as Perceived by Recreation Providers as More than a Minor Barrier

5.16 – Support/Strongly Support Method of Financing Local Parks and Recreation.........

5.17 – Bond Election Results in Texas for Parks, Recreation and Open Space...............

5.18 – Top 3 Outstanding Qualities of Local Parks by Texas Citizens


Table of Contents Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan

5.19 – Top 5 Facilities Needed Now in Local Parks by Texas Citizens

5.20 – Support/Strongly Support Method of Financing Texas State Parks

5.21 – Top 3 Outstanding Qualities of Texas State Parks by Texas Citizens

5.22 – Top 5 Facilities Needed Now in Texas State Parks by Texas Citizens..................

5.23 – Non-Visitor Citizen Reasons to Not Visit Local and State Parks in the Last 12 Months

5.24 – Barriers/Limits to Visitation at Local and State Parks Encountered by Visitors on Last Trip

5.25 – Citizen Respondents by MSA

5.26 – Citizen Respondents by Age Group

6.1 – Summary of Economic Impact on the Local County by Select State Parks..............

6.2 – Typical Net Annual Impact of All Activities Associated with Local Public Parks on Business Activity in Texas by MSA

7.1 – Age Population Comparison of Texas Youth 2000 and 2010

7.2 – Average TYC Incarceration Cost Per Day Per Youth

7.3 – The Texas Children in Nature Organization

9.1 – Sources of Funding and Distribution of Grants

10.1 – Outdoor Recreation Grants Priority Scoring Criteria

10.2 – Small Community Grants Priority Scoring Criteria

10.3 – Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants Priority Scoring Criteria


1.1 – Planning Process Components

2.1 – Texas Population Projected Growth Estimates 2000-2040

2.2 – Population Change in Texas Counties, 2000-2010

2.3 – Texas Conservation Action Plan Ecoregions

2.4 – Drought Impact on Texas Surface Water (August 23, 2011)

2.5 – Drought Impact on Texas Surface Water (March 20, 2012)

4.1 – Recreation-Conservation Acres in Texas by Owning Entity

4.2 – Ecoregions of Texas

4.3 – Outdoor Recreation-Conservation Acres by Ecoregion

4.4 – Outdoor Recreation-Conservation Acres/Capita

4.5 – Outdoor Recreation-Conservation Acres by County


Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Table of Contents

4.6 – Total Recreation-Conservation Acres by County Population Size

5.1 – Top 10 Outdoor Recreation Activities Participated in by Texas Residents, 2006and U.S. Residents, 2005-2009

5.2 – Total Texas Hunting, Fishing and Combination Licenses Sold, 1987-2010.............

5.3 – Total Texas Hunting, Fishing and Combination License Sales Revenue, 1987-2010

5.4 – Visits to National Parks, 1992-2011

5.5 – Type of Outdoor Recreation Provider Respondent

5.6 – Recreation Providers Rate the Level of Difficulty in the Administration of Land Protection

5.7 – Recreation Providers Rate the Level of Importance on the Types of Parks Needed Now

5.8 – Number of Visits Made in the Last 12 Months to Local and State Parks..................

5.9 – Reasons that Influenced Most Recent Visit to Texas State Parks

6.1 – Estimated Economic Impact of Park Related Expenditures by County Type...........

6.2 – 2006 Estimated Statewide Economic Impact on Personal Income of Texans by Visitors to Texas State Parks

6.3 – Typical Net Annual Impact of All Activities Associated with Local Public Parks on Business Activity in Texas

7.1 – Urban Heat Island Effect

7.2 – Overweight and Obesity (BMI) in Texas 1995-2010, Weight Classification by BMI

7.3 – Texas Diabetes Prevalence by Weight Status 1997-2007

7.4 – Total Projected Obesity Costs to Texas Businesses, 2009-2030

7.5 – How Investing in Parks and Recreation Benefits Society

9.1 – Total Recreation Grants Projects Distribution by County, 1962-2011

9.2 – Total Recreation Grants Projects by Decade

9.3 – Estimated Sales Tax Collections from Sporting Goods Appropriations to Texas State Parks and Local Park Grants

9.4 – Requested and Awarded Grant Funding by Biennium

9.5 – 2006-2011 LWCF National Apportionment

9.6 – Texas State Parks Receiving LWCF Grant Funds


Table of Contents Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan

Executive Summary The 2012 Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan (TORP) fulfills an eligibility requirement allowing Texas to continue receiving its allotted appropriation through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program. Each state is required to produce a statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plan (SCORP) at least once every five years. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is the state agency that holds the authority to represent and act for the state of Texas regarding the LWCF stateside assistance program.

The LWCF State and Local Assistance Program is the only federal source of funds partnering with states and local governments that is solely dedicated to protecting conservation and recreation lands for future generations of Americans.

According to the SCORP guidelines, the minimum requirements include:

1. Identify outdoor recreation issues of statewide importance

2. Evaluate demand of public outdoor recreation preferences

3. Evaluate the supply of outdoor recreation resources and facilities

4. Provide an implementation program that identifies the state’s strategies, priorities, and actions for the LWCF apportionment

5. Include a wetlands priority component consistent with Section 303 of the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986

6. Includes Governor approval

The TORP goals are to:

1. Assess current statewide outdoor recreation and conservation needs and areas of concern,

2. Act as a guide on how to best administer Texas’ apportionment of the LWCF

3. Create a resource for outdoor recreation and conservation initiatives, and

4. Align with the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan A cross divisional planning team collaborated to fulfill the requirements and goals of the TORP. This was accomplished through extensive research, the development of the most extensive inventory of Texas public parklands in existence, the creation and distribution of two public surveys, an update to the open project selection process, an overview of the state’s wetland conservation priorities, the development of a sustainable park design guide, and periods of public comment throughout the process.

As the second largest state in the nation, and one of the fastest growing in population, Texas must strive to be in the forefront of addressing the many challenges that arise. As Texas continues to be a predominately urban society our children are becoming less connected to nature. Obesity and health care costs are on the rise across the state and water resources are being challenged. The country is also recovering from the biggest recession since the Great Depression creating budget challenges for public funds.

vii Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Executive Summary Texas has also recently suffered major losses from natural disaster. In 2011 Texas experienced the worst one year drought ever documented, having overwhelming economic, environmental, and social repercussions for the state. From Nov. 2010 to Oct. 2011, over 30,000 wildfires raged across Texas; burning almost 4 million acres and destroying over 3,000 homes. Nearly 10% of Texas urban forests or 5.6 million urban trees have died as a result of this drought, with an estimated net economic loss of roughly $280 million. (Texas Forest Service, 2012) Wildfires touched upon 30 state parks burning over 9,000 acres of parkland. TPWD saw nearly a 5% decline in fishing and boating license sales equating to approximately $2.79 million in lost revenue. (Miller, 2011) A reduction in state park attendance due to the drought and wildfires has also had serious budget ramifications.

Texas has grown at an alarming rate over the last ten years; at 20.6% versus the national average growth of 9.7%. (Murdoch, 2010) With a total population of over 25 million, Texas has three cities with over 1 million people, more than any other state in the nation. As a predominately urban society and as only 2.5% of land in Texas is open to the public for outdoor recreation; parks and green space are limited for the general population.

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