Our Campaigns

The Million Acre Parks Project

The Centennial of our parks system in 2023 gives us the opportunity to better protect the beauty, character, and heritage of the Lone Star State by adding one million additional acres of parkland for us all to enjoy.

From camping under the stars at Big Bend Ranch to exploring the cypress swamps of Caddo Lake, our parks make life better here in Texas. In them we can build sandcastles at the beach, camp in the mountains, stargaze in dark sky sanctuaries, and even explore dinosaur footprints. Our parks protect the clean water we depend on and provide a home for some of Texas’ most wondrous wildlife, like the black bear and the leatherback sea turtle. 

Demand for our parks is only increasing as Texas grows, and Texans seek refuge in the great outdoors, but unfortunately our parks and open spaces face chronic underfunding which threatens their very existence. Every hour, almost 20 acres of open space are destroyed in Texas to make way for new strip malls and subdivisions. Our existing parks are often overcrowded, with visitors sometimes facing long lines to enter or even being turned away.

  • <h4>ONE MILLION ACRES</h4><h5>In 2001, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) commissioned a report saying we would need 1.2 million acres of new parks by 2030 to keep pace with Texas’s growing population. We’ve only added 200,000 since then. Join Environment Texas in calling for one million acres of new parkland.</h5><em>Anna Farrell-Sherman / Staff</em>
  • <h4>MORE TYPES OF PARKS</h4><h5>From the deep wilderness of Big Bend to our neighborhood playgrounds, all types of parks are important here in Texas. We are calling for additional parks of all types that are accessible, and welcoming, to all Texans.</h5><em>Anna Farrell-Sherman / Staff</em>
  • <h4>MORE EQUITABLE PARKS</h4><h5>More than 1 in 4 Texans lack access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Adding one million acres more parkland gives us an opportunity to fix that issue: we can add city parks and conservation areas to give more Texans access to the great outdoors.</h5><em>Anna Farrell-Sherman / Staff</em>
Parks Protect Our Wildlife

One of the biggest threats to our wildlife is the breaking up of large swaths of land into smaller and smaller tracts. Our wildlife cannot thrive on the scraps of wilderness left: habitat loss, polluted waterways, and severed migration routes are serious threats. We can help protect that wildlife by converting some of ranch land into parks where wildlife can thrive.

Texas is 96% private land: We need more parks
Our Strategy

In November of 2019, Texas voters expressed overwhelming support for Prop 5, an amendment to the state constitution that helps provide funding for operations of existing parks. We can keep the momentum going to provide the state with new resources by bringing together cities, counties, private philanthropy, and the state government to put together the resources necessary to protect Texas wild places and meet the growing demand for recreational opportunities.

In order to marshall these resources, we need to change the narrative around conservation in the Lone Star State. Instead of just talking about maintaining current facilities, we need to raise the bar and envision what Texas would look like with a wealth of public lands that protect our waterways, special places, and wildlife, especially as we celebrate the centennial of our state parks system in 2023. Join us in calling for one million acres of new parkland by 2030.