VISTA Volunteers at Parks and Wildlife

A few of TPWD's Vista Volunteers.

A few of TPWD’s Vista Volunteers.

This is Passport to Texas

Volunteers in Service to America’s, or VISTA, began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in 1964.

We must create a national service corps to help the economic handicapped of our own country, as the Peace Corps now helps those abroad.

Nearly 30 years later, VISTA integrated with AmeriCorps. Individuals volunteer to spend a year in communities working on wide-ranging projects, including environmental stewardship.

This [change] really could tie in greatly in getting VISTAs to come in and help us build some new programs and new projects that we haven’t been able to do in the past.

Kris Shipman, a former AmeriCorps VISTA, is volunteer manager at Texas Parks and Wildlife. She developed the agency’s first VISTA program, which began this past April.

We had to go through a Federal grant process. And, once we were accepted, we received 13 VISTA members. This project will be a three year project; we have a VISTA leader that will be here in Austin. The other 12 are all over the agency.

Including, but not limited to state parks and Children in Nature. Erin Freiboth is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s VISTA leader.

We are here to create and develop foundations for projects and for programs that support and carry on the mission of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

More about the VISTA program tomorrow. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with support of proud members across the state. Find out more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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