SAN ANTONIO – Two programs in the San Antonio area will receive grants from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to help their communities connect with the outdoors.
TPWD’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program awarded $2.9 million to 55 programs across the state to promote recreation and conservation. According to a news release, that is the largest sum of grant funding in the program’s history.
“CO-OP grant recipients are as diverse as the communities in Texas they serve,” the release states. “They include conservation groups, nature centers, summer camps, churches, school districts and municipalities.”
In San Antonio, the YMCA of Greater San Antonio will receive $53,290 to be used for the Ranch Outdoor Adventure Reach, or ROAR.
The program allows youth to explore nature and learn about plants and pollinators.
ROAR “provides youth from communities of color and low-income families with opportunities to participate in Project WILD-based outreach programs and connect their learning to field-based activities while hiking and exploring the natural areas of YMCA’s Roberts Ranch,” the release states. “Mentored by Master Naturalist volunteers, students participate in the planning and creation of a new native plant pollinator garden to serve as a future outdoor classroom.”
In New Braunfels, Communities In Schools of South Central Texas will receive $70,000 for its Project Success Summer Bootcamp and Alumni Outdoor Adventure Program.
The program helps at-risk youth and young adults in leadership and career development. Program activities include training, camping and a six-week boot camp.
TPWD states that it created CO-OP in 1996 to connect under-represented communities with the outdoors. Since then, it has awarded $27 million in grants to a variety of programs.
Grants can be used for supplies, travel, food, personnel cost and other equipment.
“Each project removes barriers for Texans to connect with nature and the mission of TPWD, learning to hunt, fish, camp or paddle and beginning a lifelong path to conservation stewardship,” the release states.
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