Texas state parks current outlook

Canyon, TX - Texas state parks continue to suffer with a budget crisis after a year of fires and drought.

State parks have suffered a four-point-six million dollar shortfall, but they say after a month of fundraising, they are hoping donations and visitations will go up.

"Right now we are encouraged since we launched the fundraising campaign back in December, we just recently topped a million dollars towards that 4-point-6 million dollar goal. So we are encouraged by that early on in the process, so we are looking forward to the remainder of the year to see how things fall out as far as donations go," said Cory Evans, Palo Duro Parks Superintendent.

The heat and drought have added problems for Texas parks but Evans says the fire danger has impacted them the most.

"Especially for Palo Duro Canyon, we've been in a burn ban we have continued with that so it will definitely have an impact," added Evans.

To bring more visitors to the canyon,  Palo Duro is starting to plan several events and are building an events center where weddings and other activities can take place.

"Overall at Palo Duro Canyon we have a few events that are scheduled for this spring. We are trying to increase our visitation through mountain bike races, trail runs, that kind of things, so we are really encouraging people to come out and participate even if it is as a spectator in some of those events," said Evans.

For now, state park officials are hoping they are able to raise more funds for the parks by bringing in more visitors.

"The revenue generated from each entrance fee or campsite fee goes directly to the operating budget and we really encourage that folks get out and visit state parks across the state," added Evans.

You can also donate to Texas state parks when registering your car or by visiting their website online.