February 20, 2024
Media contact: Lydia Saldaña

Specialty Equipment will Enhance Eclipse Experience at Texas State Parks

It only happens once every 20 years or so, and science nerds, skywatchers and lovers of the natural world look forward to it with great anticipation. “It” being a total solar eclipse, of course, which happens when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, transforming daytime into dusk for several minutes along the eclipse’s path. This year, the “path of totality”—where you can experience the total solar eclipse—will traverse Central and North America, including a wide swath of Texas on April 8, 2024. In Texas, the eclipse will begin about 1:25 p.m. along the Texas/Mexico border, and end about 25 minutes later as the eclipse crosses the Texas/Oklahoma state line.

There are 31 Texas State Parks directly situated within the eclipse’s path of totality from Del Rio to Texarkana, and park staff are gearing up for huge crowds. Thanks to a donation from Lyda Hill Philanthropies through Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), a variety of specialty equipment to enhance eclipse viewing will be available at parks along the eclipse’s path.

“Lyda Hill is a lifelong champion of the sciences, and her love for science education and passion for connecting more people to our natural world is evident in her countless good works,” said TPWF Executive Director Anne Brown. “Several months ago, the stars absolutely aligned when she approached us and wanted to help enhance the eclipse experience for the thousands of state park visitors who will be in the path of totality on this special day. We couldn’t be more grateful for Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ generosity, which will make this rare event even more spectacular.”

Thanks to this generous donation, 20,000 eclipse safety glasses, tabletop sun-spotter telescopes, telescope tripods and solar filters, binocular filters, smartphone sun photography adapters, and eclipse-themed books will be distributed among the 31 Texas State Parks that are within the path of totality ahead of the eclipse.

“Visiting a Texas State Park is an adventure on any day, but April 8 promises to be a treasured memory for those who have the opportunity to take in an unobstructed, spellbinding view of this monumental celestial event,” said Texas State Parks Director Rodney Franklin. “We are so thankful to Lyda Hill Philanthropies for this generous donation, and this specialty equipment will continue to be used and enjoyed by park visitors for years to come.”

On the day of the eclipse, Texas State Park staff will offer special programming aimed at safely observing the celestial spectacle, explaining the science behind the phenomenon, and inspiring an appreciation for its cultural and historical context.

“As a science enthusiast, I am glad to support efforts to allow more Texans to experience this special, rare phenomenon at one of our State Parks,” said Lyda Hill, Entrepreneur and Founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “An astronomical event like a total solar eclipse is the sort of memory that can inspire a lifetime of appreciation for nature and science, something I wish for all fellow Texans.”

Visit Eclipse Viewing — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for more information about viewing the eclipse in a Texas State Park.


Since 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, has raised and invested more than $240 million to advance Texas’ proud outdoor traditions and conserve our state’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources. Our vision is for all Texans to have access to the wild things and wild places of our state, both now and for generations to come.


Printable PDF of Press Release HERE.