CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – This year marks the 100th anniversary of Texas State Parks. During this milestone, lawmakers came together to create bi-partisan legislation to expand the natural wonders of Texas land.
Proposition 14 is on the ballot for voters in Tuesday’s election. It would expand existing state parks and create new ones with the goal of making sure every Texan is within a 30-minute drive to a state park.
“Making certain we protect our precious infrastructure and growing our state park space. I think that’s in the best interest of every Texan. The best interests of our children. That’s another big driver for me is our kids. As a father, I take my two girls camping. I want more families to be able to have that experience,” said State Sen. Tan Parker, (R) Texas District 12.
State Senator Parker is behind the original legislation that led to Prop 14.
“We had Republicans and Democrats working on this together. That’s vitally important because we want to see it be effectively supported,” Parker said.
Prop 14 would allow Texas Parks and Wildlife to use Texas’ surplus money through a one-billion-dollar trust fund to buy or lease more land to turn into state parks while providing additional funding for existing parks. Currently, it takes an act of the legislature to approve.
“They will have the ability to exercise these dollars as they see fit as the experts in our state at Texas Parks and Wildlife,” Parker said.
The proposition aims to acquire land now before it’s too late with Texas’ quickly growing population.
“As we’re now 30 million people growing dramatically at 15 hundred people a day going forward and that number is only accelerating over the decade we need additional park space,” Parker said.
The goal is to also protect wildlife from urbanization.
“The beautiful wildlife that live there and are indigenous to the land and those areas are going to dramatically benefit,” he said.
Prop 14 is a part of other 14 statewide propositions on the ballot for Texas voters on Tuesday.