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Group Asking Citizens To Stand Up For State Parks' Funding

Bryan Frazier
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

A group that wants state lawmakers to restore funding for parks is asking the public to get involved.

Tonight in Dallas, “Keep Texas Parks Open” will hold a town hall meeting.  The group is holding town halls in six other cities this week. 

Group director Ian Davis says they’re calling on lawmakers to dedicate money from the sales tax on sporting goods to parks, which is what the tax money was originally supposed to be used for. 

The tax is expected to generate about $265 million for the next two- year budget. 

Currently 94% of the tax is supposed to be used for parks but just 25% of the money was used for that purpose in the current budget.

“If we just allocate the sporting goods sales tax as it was intended, then we could not only keep Texas parks open but we could also fund overdue maintenance needs and restore the local parks grant program,” Davis said.

Davis says the greatest need is to restore at least $15 million for local parks which lost all of their state grant funding two years ago. 

In North Texas that money has paid for athletic fields and equipment, hike-bike trails and greenbelts.

The Dallas Town Hall will begin at 7 pm at the University Park United Methodist Church on Caruth Blvd. in Dallas.

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.