The Houston Parks and Recreation Department has received a $40,000 grant through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP). These funds will enable around 3,400 inner city youth to participate in Houston PARKS Adventure, a collaborative, community-based program that promotes nature education, conservation, and outdoor recreation through innovative and affordable programming designed to spark their interest in nature-based activities. Children participating in HPARD’s After School and Summer Enrichment Programs at twenty-five community centers in Houston will have the opportunity to learn about the natural world through after-school instruction, camping, birding, fishing, archery, and more.
TPWD developed the CO-OP in 1996 to help introduce underserved populations to environmental education, conservation, and outdoor recreation programs. This year, thirty-nine organizations will benefit from nearly $1.5 million to help connect Texas communities with their natural environment, provide hands-on environmental education, and introduce underserved communities to outdoor recreation skills. The program is authorized by the Texas Legislature through TPWD’s budget as a specialized component of the Texas Recreation and Parks Account Program. Grants may be used to pay for equipment, transportation, liability insurance and up to 40% of staffing costs.
CO-OP grant funding is available to tax-exempt non-profit organizations, municipalities, universities and local school districts. Over the last twenty years, nearly 700 CO-OP grants have been awarded.
About the Houston Parks and Recreation Department
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.) stewards and manages over 37,851 acres of parkland and greenspace for the City of Houston and develops and implements recreational programming for citizens of all abilities.