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Texas State Parks: The First 100 Years, 1923–2023 examines the history of one of Texas’s most treasured assets: our state parks. From the legislative establishment of the original Texas State Parks Board to the present, the development of our state and national parks over the last one hundred years has depended upon an evolving concept of public lands for public use and enjoyment.
One of America’s best ideas has been a parks system for all—first at the national level, then among the states. In Texas, leaders have emerged at every stage of this hundred-year history to lend their names and reputations to the cause of conservation and preservation, which has met growing acceptance among the public at large. This book explores the contributions of these giants at all levels. Together, they gave meaning to Teddy Roosevelt’s call to arms for the preservation of public lands as one of the country’s foundations of an “essential democracy.”
After successful careers in politics, then business, George Bristol turned to a complementary endeavor that would utilize his skills and reflect a lifelong love of nature and parks: advocacy for parks and people. In 1994, he received a presidential appointment to the National Parks Foundation, launching his new journey. He established the Texas Coalition for Conservation in 2001 and began an eighteen-year effort that culminated in the people of Texas overwhelmingly voting to direct all revenue generated from the Sporting Goods Sales Tax to state parks and historic sites—as originally intended.
About the Author
For his advocacy, GEORGE BRISTOL has been awarded honors at every level of the conservation spectrum, including the prestigious National Cornelius Amory Pugsley Medal. Bristol is the father of three and grandfather of four. He and his wife, Gretchen Denny, live in Fort Worth.