The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park was founded in 1980 as The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Historical Park. When The Texas Historical Commission took ownership of the Historical Park along the banks of The Brazos River the Friends Group remained connected only to the State Park. The early Friends Group was responsible for many park fundraisers which benefited Stephen F. Austin tremendously. Many of the projects funded by the early Friends Group are still visible in the park today.
Today’s Friends group is a rejuvenated group of inspired individuals who collectively have a vision to help Stephen F. Austin State Park in achieving their goals and objectives to the community. Our group is made up of individuals, families and businesses as well as park volunteers. Our primary purpose is to raise funds to augment projects and needs for the park by following the outline of our mission statement.
Past projects and funding provided by The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park include construction of a modern cabin, cedar fencing for the new walk-in camping area, cedar fencing along the entrance near the golf course, hike and bike trail signage, exterior and interior painting of park buildings, nature center computer equipment and funding for a SFA’s Summer Camp Wild! for kids.
Future projects the Friends Group has envisioned for the Park are a park specific smartphone app, electronic media displays for headquarters and the nature center, additional modern cabin construction, continued Camp programs for youth, day use activity features, and community outreach events. Also included in the group’s vision is funding for general park maintenance projects, a rain water collection system and a boardwalk to the wetlands area.
The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park’s primary fundraising efforts focus on the sale of firewood and ice to the park’s visitors. The Friends Group also maintains drink vending machines within the park. Membership fees and donations also provide income to the Group. The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park will also be hosting community events during the Holiday season and throughout the year in order to raise funds. The Friends of Stephen F. Austin State Park is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation.
Words from park staff regarding Friends Group
Check back soon for the latest news from your Friends at the Bottomland Forests of Stephen F. Austin State Park: