FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2020
Media contact: Lydia Saldaña
Phillips 66 Donations Enhance Visitor Experience at Goose Island State Park
ROCKPORT, TX – Visitors to Goose Island State Park in Rockport will notice a few more visitor amenities, thanks to the generosity of Phillips 66. This week, Goose Island State Park staff installed convenience stations comprised of recycling containers, informational kiosks, and pet waste receptacles at several locations within the park. In addition, Phillips 66 funding has provided maintenance equipment for Coastal Bend area parks that will enable staff to help control invasive species and woody growth, mow large swaths of land, and perform wildfire control. On tap in the next few years is an ambitious project that will provide a comprehensive trail system around the Big Tree Natural Area within the park.
“We are excited to offer easy-to-access customer convenience items such as the recycling containers and pet waste receptacles,” said Edwin Quintero, Goose Island State Park Superintendent. “The maintenance equipment will help us put our best foot forward for our guests, and we are very grateful to Phillips 66 for facilitating its purchase. We are also looking forward to moving ahead on developing the Big Tree trail system, which we’re hoping will be underway in 2021.”
There is a considerable backlog of repair and maintenance issues across the state park system, and the equipment is sorely needed. Phillips 66 funding provided for a new tractor, batwing mower, and dedicated transport trailer for the state parks in the Coastal Bend region, which includes Choke Canyon, Lake Corpus Christi, Goliad, and Goose Island, as well as the future Powderhorn State Park. All three pieces of equipment are currently in service in the region.
The convenience stations are made of recycled plastics and stainless-steel hardware that will withstand the saltwater atmosphere. These stations are strategically placed near restrooms, public gathering areas, and the park headquarters. The stations will make it easier for park-goers to recycle and look after their pets properly, enhancing the visitor experience for all.
The Big Tree Natural Area of the park is named for the iconic former State Champion Live Oak Tree, which is a drawing card for the park. Funding from Phillips 66 is being leveraged with $170,000 in federal recreation grant funding to develop a comprehensive trail system around the magnificent tree, which has a 35-foot circumference. Park staff have completed landscape analysis and trail development planning. Trail construction is slated to begin in 2021, once COVID-19 social distancing restrictions are lifted, and will continue through 2022. In addition to trail development costs covering design, materials, and labor, Phillips 66 funding will also be used to install accompanying interpretive signage and kiosks along the trails. Funding for the Goose Island State Park projects are part of a multi-year commitment by Phillips 66 to support Texas State Parks through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF).
“Our partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation aligns with our corporate philanthropy focus on environment and sustainability,” shared Ron Grandstaff, area supervisor for Midstream Operations at Phillips 66. “We wanted to provide enhancements to park amenities for everyone’s enjoyment and we’re excited to see these projects come to fruition. We are committed to being good neighbors in the Coastal Bend and look forward to working with TPWF on environmental and sustainability projects.”
Situated along St. Charles and Aransas bays, the 321.4-acre Goose Island State Park is located 41 miles from Corpus Christi near the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and offers camping, fishing, boating and birding opportunities. More than 172 acres of the park are critical to the survival of neo-tropical migratory birds such as whooping cranes. The park is an ideal location for saltwater fishing from shore, boat, or the park’s 1,620-foot fishing pier. In recent years, the park has attracted over 190,000 visitors annually.
“Phillips 66’s generous investment in Texas State Parks over the last three years is providing great joy, beauty, outdoor experiences, and inspiration for park visitors across the state,” said TPWF Executive Director Susan Houston. “We’ve learned this year that Texans need parks more than ever, and we are deeply grateful to Phillips 66 for its commitment and dedication to ensuring that our state’s natural and cultural resources flourish, both now and for generations to come.”
Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has leveraged public funds with private philanthropy to advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat, recreational areas, and natural resources. Since its inception, TPWF has raised more than $205 million to help ensure that all Texans, today and in the future, can enjoy the wild things and wild places of Texas.