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Many state parks have organized groups of interested citizens that actively support their park. These nonprofit organizations, sometimes referred to as "friends groups," work on behalf of park sites to assist with daily programs, special events, fundraising and public education. These groups serve as important links to local communities and park user groups, as well.

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Show your support in Texans for State Parks by wearing one of our jean button down shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps and/or visors. Our logo is machine embroidered tastefully on each and made with quality supplies. Go now and see what strikes your fancy.

Look here for Grants, Information, and other Help.

The Friends Groups of the Texas State Parks are a very important part of the Texans for State Parks organization. Without these groups, the organization and parks would be in dire need. Here you will find information concerning grants, the starting of friends groups, and much more to help and encourage our much needed friends. Please click through to our resources page.

Playa Restoration Program Fills Grassland Playa Pits, Trenches at No Cost to Landowners

LUBBOCK—A new multi-partner playa restoration program, the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative, is offering participating landowners free backfilling of pits and trenches in playas surrounded by grass.

Backfilling these pits and trenches, many of which are no longer in use, restores playa hydrology for the benefit of local residents and wildlife.

Healthy, functioning playas are areas of focused recharge to the Ogallala Aquifer, with rates in playa basins 10 to 100 times higher than other areas, but the benefits go beyond simple recharge.

“The water that reaches the aquifer through playas is cleaner than water that enters through other channels such as upland soils,” said Don Kahl, Natural Resources Specialist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “As rainfall and runoff travel toward the playa, the surrounding grasses trap sediments that can carry contaminants, and keep them from reaching the playa. Then, as the water moves through the clay floor of the playa, a second ‘cleaning’ process occurs as the soils beneath the playa remove nitrates and other dissolved contaminants. The result is high quality water reaching the aquifer that can be used by those who live on the land, their children and future generations.”

Playas are also critically important for wildlife, according to Kahl, providing water, food and shelter. These seasonal wetlands support 185 species of waterfowl and other birds, 350 species of plants, 37 mammal species, and 13 amphibian species.

Playa restoration will be completed at no cost to the landowner and upon completion of the restoration practice, a one-time incentive payment will be provided.

Program partners include Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Playa Lakes Joint Venture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ducks Unlimited, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Agricultural Land Trust, Texas Grazing Lands Coalition, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, The Nature Conservancy, and Ogallala Commons.

For more information about the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative or to enroll in the program, contact Don Kahl at (806) 475-1308 or don.kahl@tpwd.texas.gov.