«Recreation Plan Recreation Grants Branch State Parks Division 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744 © 2012 TPWD. PWD ...»
Nonetheless, there are a number of criteria that can be evaluated to help assess and rank the value of any given tract or tracts of land. TPWD only acquires land from willing sellers or donors, eliminating from consideration many tracts that might otherwise be desirable. Due to the high cost of acquiring lands of sufficient scope for new parks, and the high cost of developing, staffing, and operating new parks, most acquisition effort is geared toward expanding existing sites, and acquiring tracts within existing sites (inholdings), especially sites which protect rare and critical habitats or are heavily used by the public.
Every transaction is unique, and even with established evaluation guidelines, assessment of some criteria, such as aesthetic values or visitation projections, will always be subjective or speculative, and subject to best professional judgment.
Nonetheless, all acquisitions are evaluated for their attributes in the following four areas:
site attributes, location, recreation, in addition to social and economic value. The relative importance of each parameter within these four areas will vary from proposal to proposal, depending upon the specific needs and goals of TPWD at the time of consideration.
Selection Criteria Site Attributes (**Supports TPWD 2010 Land and Water Plan Objectives)
• Quality of natural resources require little to no restoration o Indigenous soils, topography, hydrology, and species communities intact o If restoration is required, appropriate funding and other resources have been considered and are available
• Physical size of the site offers opportunity to preserve ecosystem scale processes and landscapes o Will fire be practical if appropriate?
o Is there sufficient habitat to support species recovery, where appropriate, large herbivores and predators where appropriate, and the desired compatible recreation?
• Contributes to watershed health**
• Opportunity for research and demonstration**
• Site will fill a gap in representation of publicly-owned and managed cultural sites, recreational opportunities, and/or conservation properties**
• Offers outstanding aesthetic qualities
• Offers significant features including rare or listed species or communities**
• Existing TPWD sites in this eco-region or area of the state** Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 10 – Open Project Selection Process
• Ownership of the associated mineral estate; implications for potential future exploration and recovery operations
• Suitable and adequate access
• Past land uses with potential for contamination or other environmental liability Location
• Expansion of an existing TPWD facility (in-holding or adjacent tract)**
• Existing TPWD sites in this eco-region or area of the state** o Would this site or facilities be significantly different?
o Is there a demonstrable need for additional facilities?
• Site serves a population center or potentially serves a large public audience**
• Likelihood of available housing for park staff
• What are prospects for expanding in the future?**
• Land uses occurring or expected to occur on adjacent or nearby properties that would diminish fish and wildlife and recreational value
• Aesthetic qualities of the drive to the site; i.e. is it through rural countryside or through a neighborhood?
• Offers outstanding aesthetic qualities or other exceptional recreation amenities**
• Offers special topographic or geographic features such as springs or canyons
• Offers recreation opportunities that are in demand, but unmet in the area**
• Potential for public hunting and or fishing**
• Utilities available and sufficient for park operation
• Other local recreational resources (city, county parks) o Will the acquisition duplicate existing recreation opportunities?
o Would a TPWD facility compete with existing recreational facilities?
• Proposed acquisition site expands an existing recreation opportunity or creates a new recreation opportunity Social and Economic
• Current owner(s) is a willing seller**
• Good financial value o Based on cost comparison to undeveloped land in the region o In relation to expected fish and wildlife and public benefits o Do the added values justify the expense?
o Would the acquisition and development costs accomplish more elsewhere?
• Presents an opportunity in funding to partner with a willing donor, local land trust, non-government organization, or the property is eligible for funding through grants (endangered species, migratory waterfowl, wetlands)**
• Local community and local government support proposed acquisition
Chapter 10 – Open Project Selection Process Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Plan Recommendations By engaging in a concerted strategic planning process, and supporting park acquisition, sustainable development, and outdoor recreation programs; we can promote healthy lifestyles and address environmental concerns while reducing costs and increasing revenue.
The below recommendations were developed based on the research and data collected through the 2012 TORP planning process. Six recommendations with action items were identified according to need and feasibility in promoting a more holistic planning process on both the state and local levels. Implementation of this plan will bring Texas closer to realizing the full potential of the economic, mental, physical, social, environmental and community benefits that parks and outdoor recreation provide.
1. Promote to general public and decision makers the total economic value of parks and recreation as it relates to attracting tourism, economic development, and improving the quality of life.
Action Item 1A: Create a working group made up of federal, state, and local parks and recreation providers to support a system of parks and the benefits they provide.
Action Item 1B: Take a more active leadership role in state, regional, and local planning efforts to incorporate the benefits that parks and outdoor recreation programming can produce in the physical, mental, social, and economic wellbeing for the citizens of Texas.
Action Item 1C: Engage the Texas Interagency Obesity Council to further incorporate parks and recreation as a solution to the obesity epidemic.
Action Item 1D: Coordinate with local law enforcement to identify parks and recreation sites and develop programming to reduce neighborhood crime.
Action Item 1E: Collaborate with other agencies, organizations, and schools to engage youth in conservation and outdoor recreation programs.
2. Seek sustainable funding and leverage resources to meet the expanding outdoor recreation and conservation needs of the growing, diverse and predominately urban population of Texas.
Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 11 – Conclusions and Recommendations Action Item 2A: Capitalize on the research showing public support and a willingness-to-pay for land and water conservation and outdoor recreation.
Action Item 2B: Take on an expanded role in supporting funding initiatives concerning outdoor recreation and conservation.
Action Item 2C: Identify additional resources to implement the Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan and the Community Outdoor Outreach Program.
Action Item 2D: Improve coordination to further leverage outside funding opportunities.
Action Item 2E: Seek additional grant opportunities for conservation and outdoor recreation opportunities.
3. Respond to prominent outdoor recreation trends.
Action Item 3A: Promote trails, greenways, and linkages to encourage active lifestyles.
Action Item 3B: Inventory, prioritize, and develop trail opportunities.
Action Item 3C: Partner with the Texas Nature Tourism Council and other nature based recreation groups to identify creative ways of promoting nature and heritage tourism.
Action Item 3D: Continue efforts to provide new acquisition and development of parklands near urban areas through the Open Project Selection Process for state and local grants.
Action Item 3E: Provide new recreational opportunities for changing demographics.
4. Manage access to public waters for recreation.
Action Item 4A: Create an inventory of boat ramps under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) authority.
Action Item 4B: Use a team approach involving all affected TPWD divisions in the decision making process on the best use of available resources for the improvement and development of boat access facilities.
Chapter 11 – Conclusions and Recommendations Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan
5. Maintain the commitment to periodically review the Open Project Selection Process (OPSP) and grant administration guidelines for state and local parks to ensure they adequately reflect current statewide outdoor recreation and conservation values and trends, and are effective and easy to understand.
Action Item 5A: Create a process on how to allocate the state and local share of LWCF grants.
Action Item 5B: Continue to utilize the Urban Park Director’s Focus Group to strategize how best to address scoring criteria for Urban Local Park grants.
Action Item 5C: Continue to hold statewide public meetings to address the local park OPSP.
Action Item 5D: Work with other TPWD divisions on how to best evaluate the Local Park Grant Scoring Criteria regarding acquiring and conserving wetlands and sustainable park development.
Action Item 5E: Utilize the 2012 Inventory of Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Lands to identify GIS data for grant funded projects in Texas.
6. Efficiently manage land, water and facilities for sustainable public use.
Action Item 6A: Take an active role in state, regional, and local planning efforts for water conservation and protection.
Action Item 6B: Promote sustainable park design and green infrastructure as an eco-friendly and cost effective alternative to non-sustainable construction.
Action Item 6C: Provide technical guidance and assistance to local governments, developers, and citizens for sustainable park design and green infrastructure.
Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Chapter 11 – Conclusions and Recommendations Bibliography/Literature Cited Alberta Recreation and Parks Association. (2009). Healthy by Nature: Up Close and Personal-Investing in Community Parks, Open Space and Nature Education.
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Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan BibliographyCoen, D., McKenzie, T. L., Sehgal, A., Williamson, S., Golinelli, D., & Lurie, N. (2007).
Contribution of Public Parks to Physical Activity. American Journal of Public Health, 97:3, pp. 509-514.
Coen, R. (2006). Exploring the Material Basis for Health: Characteristics of Parks in Montreal Neighborhoods with Contrasting Health Outcomes. Health and Place, pp.
Cordell, D. K. (2010). Trends in Nature-Based Outdoor Recreation Participation in the U. S. A Recreation Research Report in the IRIS Series and part of the 2010 National Assessment Series: Part I.
Cordell, D. K., & Green, G. (2009). National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, Texas Reoirts 1994-95, 2000-01 and 2006-09. U. S. Forest Service.
Cordell, D. K., Green, G., & Betz, C. (2009). Long-Term National Trends in Outdoor Recreation Activity Participation - 1980 to Now. U. S. Forest Service.
Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). America's Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations. Washington, D.C.
Cowardin, L. M.; Carter, V.; Golet, F. C.; LaRoe, E. T. (1979). Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. 103p.