AUSTIN, Texas – Ballots have been tallied from election day and voters have made it clear— state parks matter to the people of Texas. Proposition 14, which creates the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund, passed with overwhelming support from Texas voters.
The fund is made from a portion of state budget surplus and creates a dedicated funding stream for acquiring and developing state parks.
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Texas State Parks thanks to the unwavering support from the Texans who voted to adopt Proposition 14,” said David Yoskowitz, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “This historic vote confirms the value Texans place on conserving outdoor spaces for the enjoyment of all Texans.
“We are grateful for devoted advocates like Texas Coalition for State Parks for their continued support of this important legislation,” added Yoskowitz. “I also want to thank the Texas Legislature – especially Chairman Greg Bonnen, Chairwoman Joan Huffman, Senators Tan Parker, César J. Blanco, Sarah Eckhardt, Lois W. Kolkhorst and José Menéndez, and Representatives Armando Walle, Ken King and Justin Holland– for making this a priority and putting the amendment on the ballot. Thank you for helping us protect future spaces to hike, bike, swim and conserve the natural heritage of Texas.”
“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission extends its deepest gratitude to the people of Texas for voting to approve Proposition 14, which invests in the future extension of the state parks system,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman Jeffery D. Hildebrand. “The passing of this amendment allows the department to make significant strides towards building out a best-in-class system of state managed parks for future generations of Texans to enjoy.
“On behalf of the TPW Commission and the more than 3,200 employees at TPWD,” added Hildebrand, “I want to thank Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan and the countless supporters who have volunteered their time to help inform the public about this important proposition.”
Texas State Parks is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2023 and currently comprises 89 parks, natural areas and historic sites visited by nearly 10 million people every year. In a state where less than five percent of land is available for public enjoyment, Texas State Parks provide an opportunity to more than 30 million Texans (and growing) to spend time outside fishing, taking a stroll or sleeping under the stars.
“The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund is the largest investment in parks in our state’s history and will help usher in a new golden age in time for our bicentennial,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “Now with secured funding for land acquisitions, we look forward to conserving more of Texas’ unique landscape and creating more state parks and memories for the next generation.”
For more information on the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund, visit the Prop 14 webpage on the TPWD website.