Stephen F. Austin State Park was severely impacted by the recent flood events along the Brazos River. The park was initially closed in mid April to allow for assessments and clean up after some minor flooding and erosion took place in the park. The park staff announced an anticipated reopening date in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Then on May 27 areas North up the Brazos river received record rainfall amounts which caused most of the Brazos River South of Washington County to rise out of its banks. We join the community in our sorrow for those families and individuals who have incurred losses to their properties throughout this unfortunate event.
As a result of the damages from “The Memorial Day Flood” Stephen F. Austin State Park is closed until further notice. The entire park was under at least 5 feet of water. This includes all park offices, maintenance areas, campsites, restrooms and group facilities. The homes of the park staff and families that live on site were also damaged as were most of the contents.
Moving forward we have been assured by senior TPWD staffers that Stephen F. Austin State Park will reopen. “State parks are resilient” was the quote heard from Brent Leisure, TPWD Director of State Parks. This is where the Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park comes in. Our mission statement reads in part that we “support the park through volunteer work and fundraising”. We recently approved funding over $6,000.00 for major repairs to the park’s utility vehicles and have been supporting park staff on site with donations of food and water during times of power outages. We also funded cleaning fees for the park superintendent’s family clothes that were damaged by flood waters in their park home.
Fortunately our financial situation today is solid. However moving forward, due to the extended closure during our busiest time of the year, we will not have the majority of our annual revenue which is derived from donations received for ice and firewood. We have already cancelled this year’s annual Camp Wild! day camp and at and will be cancelling at least 3 other on-site fundraising events that were scheduled for 2016 including the popular Breakfast With Santa holiday fundraiser. Hundreds of camping and facility reservations were also cancelled.
Unfortunately Texas state park funding is low. Texas Parks and Wildlife has allocated a minimum amount of funding to the restoration of our park. Local park staff estimates that only a portion of the funds needed to rebuild and ENHANCE Stephen F. Austin State Park will be made available.
Here’s where you can help. Since the revitalization of the FoSFASP 5 years ago there have been opportunities for individuals and companies to join the membership or to make monetary donations online through our website. Won’t you consider becoming a “Member” of the park through an annual membership or donation? Many of the past park projects were approved by TPWD and completed with matching funds from the Friends Group. The same approach will be implemented as the FoSFASP works with park management to secure funding for specific repairs needed to reopen and begin servicing the community again. With your contribution funding will be expedited and projects can be completed quicker and normal fundraising activities can resume. In return for your membership donation we will have a small gift for you.The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park is a 501(c)(3) corporation so your donations are tax deductible.
Tax deductible donations can be made via check or cash instrument or electronically through the following websites:
Paypal & Credit Card on our site: www.friendsofsfasp.org
Donate by joining the Friends Group on our site: http://www.friendsofsfasp.org/join-us/
Charity Giving on line: Just Give Dot Org
Thank you for your time and consideration. If we can provide additional information or answer any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park
P. O. Box 463
Park Road 38
San Felipe, TX 77473