TPWD CO-OP Awards More Than $820,000 in Grants to Texas Communities
Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) Provides Opportunities for Texans to Connect with Nature
AUSTIN – Texas families will have an opportunity to experience the outdoors thanks to $822,444 in 20 grants awarded this year through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP). These grants support community-based conservation and outdoor recreation programs and activities such as archery, fishing, camping, hiking, kayaking, nature education, and more.
This year’s recipients include schools, nonprofits, and city programs across the state, developing life-long conservation and outdoor skills and reach under-represented audiences. Award-winning projects include the expansion of outdoor education in schools, a year-long program of camping and paddling for blind and visually impaired youth, a city program reaching autistic teenagers with sensory-friendly recreational opportunities, and a program teaching fishing to special needs youth, disabled veterans and their families.
CO-OP grant recipients also help Texans develop leadership and career skills. An urban environmental education nonprofit hosts conservation camps and service projects and will hire 13 low-income youth for a seven-week paid internship providing conservation and natural resource job training.
CO-OP was established by TPWD in 1996 to help introduce under-represented audiences to environmental education, conservation, and outdoor recreation programs. The Texas Legislature authorizes the application through the department’s budget as a specialized component of the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 and may be used to pay for supplies, travel, training, food, personnel costs, and equipment for ongoing use.
CO-OP grant funding is available to tax-exempt organizations within the State of Texas. Over the last 24 years, these grants have awarded $21,555,934 around the state to assist in this effort.
The City of Tyler — $12,597 – Outdoor Adventure Series workshops for area youth teach archery, fishing, orienteering, animal tracking, backpacking/hiking, and birdwatching. The series culminates in a Texas Outdoor Family camping trip at Tyler State Park for participants who attend at least three workshops.
To find out more about the CO-OP program, visit the program’s website at http://tpwd.texas.gov/business/grants/recreation-grants/community-outdoor-outreach-program-co-op-grants.