San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance •  107 E. Hopkins St. Suite 121A; San Marcos, Texas 78666

The Loop


TPWD: New Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan Plots Future for Parks, Healthy Lifestyles

Besides Recommendations, Plan Compiles Research on Health, Economics,
Texas’ Future

AUSTIN – The latest Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan calls for more
trails and greenways to encourage active lifestyles, new parks in or
near urban areas, better access to public waters, and a review of
local park grant rules to make the most of limited dollars, among
other recommendations. Besides ways to improve, the plan is chock full
of interesting research findings pulled from many sources.

The plan ticks off a sobering list of challenges facing the Lone Star
State, including how it’s a predominately urban society where
children are becoming less connected to nature and the outdoors.
Partly because of this increasingly “indoor” culture, obesity and
health care costs are on the rise statewide. And, like the rest of
America, Texas is recovering from the biggest recession since the
Great Depression, creating budget challenges for public funds. Plus,
the state has been rocked by natural disasters such as record drought
and wildfires, and water resources are becoming strained.

However, the plan points hopefully to a body of research that makes
the case for investing in outdoor recreation and parks solutions. For
example, a key finding in a review of more than 200 research studies
by the American Heart Association in 2011 was that every $1 spent on
building biking trails and walking paths would save an estimated
nearly $3 in medical expenses. (Trust for America’s Health, 2012)

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