Skip to main content
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Balmorhea State Park

Keeping Texas Wild

When the park’s iconic gem of a pool was in trouble, TPWF stepped in to help make sure it would be enjoyed by Texans for years to come.

About the Project

In the middle of the High Desert, way out in the Trans-Pecos, there’s an oasis that draws travelers from miles around—the pool at Balmorhea State Park. This breathtaking pool is the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the world. It covers 1.3 acres of the park and contains almost 3.5 million gallons of always cool water from San Soloman Springs. Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, it’s been a destination for Texans and Texas travelers for decades. Sadly, in 2017, structural damages were discovered that forced the closure of the beloved pool. That’s when TPWF stepped in to help.

TPWF partnered with the Apache Corporation to raise money with private donors across the state. The Apache Corporation and TPWF jumpstarted efforts to raise funds when the Apache Corporation issued a challenge grant, meaning they would match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. They pledged an additional million to establish an endowment to benefit Balmorhea State Park in perpetuity.

More than 575 donations came pouring in from all over the state. Sixty percent came from donors who gave gifts of under $100. Texas companies also contributed significantly, including Texas Pacific Land Trust, Saulsbury Industries, McCoy Remme Ranches, Legend Energy Services, Pioneer Energy Services, and Garrison Brothers Distillery.

Because repairing this iconic Texas landmark was paid for with funds from private donors, state funds could be spent on critical repairs across the state park system. This was especially important at the time, as many state parks had been damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The campaign to repair Balmorhea is a beautiful example of the work TPWF does to make sure Texans can continue to enjoy all of the wild gifts this state has to offer—and it’s a demonstration of the skills TPWF displays at getting different partners across the state together to make a huge impact.

At a Glance

$2 Million

raised for repairs

60 percent

of donations were under $100 each

$1 Million Endowment

to benefit the park in perpetuity


Help Us Keep Texas Wild

Help ensure that every Texan, now and in the future, can enjoy, explore, and be inspired by the wild things and wild places in Texas.