Texas state parks gets funding boost from Whole Earth Provision Co.

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Whole Earth Provision Co. is looking to best last year’s fundraising campaign that generated more than $30,000 in donations for Texas state parks.

Customers this month at Whole Earth Provision Co. locations in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio will have the option at check-out counters to participate in a donation campaign benefiting state parks, according to a news release. For every $20 state park donation, customers will receive a Texas State Park Guide and $5 state park gift card redeemable for park entrance fees and merchandise at state park stores throughout Texas.

Store donations will be used to help defray day-to-day operational expenses at more than 90 state parks, such as purchasing new lawn mowers, maintaining park facilities and enhancing park visitor programs, according to the release. Whole Earth Provision Co. is a travel, adventure and nature store established in 1970 in Austin.

“We are blessed in Texas with an excellent state park system that provides an unrivaled range of outdoor adventures,” said Jack Jones, company founder and lifelong Texas state park advocate, in a news release. “These magical places belong to the citizens of Texas and are available for all of us to visit and enjoy.”

Mild weather, blooming flora and active wildlife make spring an ideal time of year to visit state parks whose budgets depend in part on park entry fees. And, most urbanites are closer to a state park than they might imagine. There are 12 state parks within an hour’s drive of Austin, nine within an hour’s drive of San Antonio, eight within a 60-minute drive of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and seven an hour or less  from Houston.

“We depend on public-private partnerships with businesses such as Whole Earth Provision Co. to provide additional and much-needed funding to operate our state parks,” said State Park Director Brent Leisure, in the release. “The month-long promotion at one of the state’s premier outdoor retailers helps us create a world-class park experience that Texans expect and deserve.”

Children 12 and younger get in free at state parks and senior citizens receive a discounted park entry fee.

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Will Leschper is founder of The Texas Outdoor Digest. He has been recognized for Excellence in Craft by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. He is Conservation Editor of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters, in addition to writing for plenty of of now-defunct publications.

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