On Nov. 7, Texans will have the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment — Proposition 14 — that will create the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund. The fund will help secure new parks for future generations of Texans to explore without increasing taxes. The Texas Coalition for State Parks — containing over 75 member organizations — has come together to support and educate Texans about the amendment.
State Senator Tan Parker filed the Senate bill that paved the way for the fund to make it on the November ballot. “The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund would provide dependable, long-term funding for new park acquisition that will protect the unique natural and cultural treasures of Texas, creating the opportunity to ensure our state parks thrive for generations to come,” he said.
“The fund would be an essential tool in ensuring Texans have access to public park lands for generations to come,” said State Rep. Armando Walle, who sponsored the bill in the Texas House. “This effort is a transformational effort, a Teddy Roosevelt kind of initiative.”
Earlier this year, 77% of voters said they would support the constitutional amendment in a poll conducted this summer. Legislation to place the fund on the ballot passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature with bipartisan support.
Texas State Parks attract nearly 10 million visitors annually. The current supply of state parks cannot keep up with the demand of our growing population.
“Open spaces are critical to our quality of life,” Joseph Fitzsimons, former Chairman of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission and Co-Founder of the Texas Coalition for State Parks said. “The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund would help protect the places we love to hike, bike, fish, picnic, view wildlife, and spend time with family. I encourage all Texans to vote yes on Proposition 14 so more Texans will have the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the great outdoors.”
Investing in parks conserves land and water resources, which protects Texas’ quality of life so future generations can enjoy them. The fund will allow the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to buy land when unique properties that would make for beautiful state parks become available.