The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ("TPWD") administers the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Local Park Grant Program ("TRPA") and the Large County and Municipality Recreation and Parks Account (Urban Account) and manages 95 State parks and historical sites in Texas.
TPWD has separate accounts in their general revenue fund referred to as the TRPA and Urban Account for the purpose of providing matching grants to political subdivisions for parks and recreation projects, and for outreach grants to introduce new populations to outdoor experiences. The matching grants provided by the TPWD are utilized for the planning, acquisition, and development of local park, recreation and open space areas to be owned and maintained by political subdivisions.
Funds granted to political subdivisions under the TRPA and Urban Account guidelines have funded 1668 projects of the 3,525 submitted over 30 years delivering over $800 million to the local Texas economy. Political subdivisions throughout the State of Texas depend on grants from the TPWD through the TRPA to stimulate the acquisition and development of parks and recreation areas for the benefit and enjoyment of their citizenry. The TRPA, Urban Account, and State parks are funded from sales tax on sporting goods, and the development of new parks stimulates the purchase of sporting goods.
The TRPA, Urban Account, and State parks are partially funded from federal dollars used for parks, recreation, open space, trails, and tourism from the United States Department of the Interior Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Sport Fish Restoration Boat Access program and the United States Department of Transportation Recreation Trails.
The maintenance and improvements of State parks and historic sites and the addition of new parks is a priority to Texans due to the State's expanding population and extensive tourism industry. The development of parks encourages and promotes public health, economic development, job creation, education, corporate relocation, as well as improved quality of life, and juvenile crime prevention. Funds are needed for major repairs at Local and State parks and for the acquisition of parks and facilities.
The purpose of this resolution is to request that members of the 85th Legislature of Texas seek support of legislation that provides a fair and equitable distribution of the sporting goods sales tax revenue for Local and State parks and that all funding for TRPA and Urban Account projects be subject to the established TPWD competitive scoring system.