Archive for December 22nd, 2009

Parks for the People

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

This is Passport to Texas

David McComb, a professor emeritus of history and author of Spare Time in Texas, shares the history of our state park system.

National parks were so prestigious, so glamorous, that every state wanted a national park. So the head of the National Park Service decided the answer to demands for national parks was to have state parks, which the states would support and develop.

And this is taken up by the then governor, Neff, as the slogan went, “having a park every 100 miles” was quite appealing to him. Now, the problem, for the state of Texas at the time, was that nobody wanted to pay for it, much less the state of Texas.

So this went through the 1920s, then the 1930s hit, and state parks threatened to wither on the vine. However, there was opportunity with the new deal and the establishment of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) that meant there was a supply of labor.

So to come up with some money to do that. You’re in a depression, the legislature was quite reticent, but Governor at the time, Ma Ferguson, saw the opportunity, got some emergency funds and got the CCC to come to Texas to develop State Parks.

Thanks, David.

That’s our show…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.