The Texas Recreation and Park Society reports that Texas is in the middle of a population explosion with over 12 million citizens projected to be added to our State during the next 25 years. Overcrowded local parks and open spaces are common today, and concerns for the future are alarming. Texas' economist Dr. Ray Perryman performed an economic impact study on local parks and found our parks system's "demands" in our future are critical in providing quality of life which leads to safer cities, better economic development opportunities, tourism, and higher real-estate values. Dr. Perryman further reports that the State funded "Texas Recreation and Parks Account produces a 7:1 return on the State's investment within the first year of a local park's use, and is one of the best investments for the State". The Society believes the sporting goods sales tax funds should be spent entirely on our State and Local parks. Over 116 Political Subdivisions in Texas have passed resolutions of support for full park funding.
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George L. Bristol is the founder and president/executive director of the Texas Coalition for Conservation. Mr. Bristol has more than 37 years experience in business and politics as a successful businessman, political organizer, fundraiser and lobbyist for a range of conservation-related organizations. His experience includes a six-year appointment to the National Parks Foundation Board of Directors by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt. He was named to the Texas Conservation Foundation by Governor Mark White in 1984 and chaired the Foundation until 1988. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Glacier National Park Fund and is Vice-Chairman of the Texas State Park Advisory Committee.