Volunteers Vital for Wildlife, Parks, Outdoor Education

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AUSTIN – April is National Volunteer Month, and folks who love state parks, hunting and fishing in Texas have plenty tocelebrate. In 2010, volunteers provided close to 955,000 hours of service worth an estimated $16.9 million to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Texas State Parks and Historic Sites alone receive volunteer service worth approximately 290 FTEs annually, saving TPWD’s State Parks Division almost $10 million per year in avoided costs for administrative, maintenance, interpretive, and park host duties throughout the state.

But volunteers are also vital for wildlife management areas and state fish hatcheries. And TPWD has entire education programs that are built upon and could not function without large and well-trained corps of statewide volunteers, including hunter, boater and angler education and archery instruction.

Volunteers support TPWD’s traveling Life’s Better Outside Experience at partner events. They also make possible programs like Texas Master Naturalists, Texas Nature Trackers, the Texas Youth Hunting Program, Coastal Expos, and more.

Links to volunteer opportunities are on TPWD’s Get Involved web page.

News reporters who want to explore story angles involving specific TPWD volunteer efforts, or people interesting in volunteering for particular opportunities, may contact any of the agency volunteer coordinators listed below.