The grant will be used to support Grapevine’s Go Wild Program and will allow the department to bring more than 2,200 students from Title I schools on field trips to Grapevine parks, according a May 2 news release from the parks and recreation department. These students will be able to explore natural habitats, enjoy outdoor activities and practice taking care of the environment.
“We are so excited to bring these children outside to our parks to have fun and learn about our awesome natural world,” said Betsy Marsh, environmental education coordinator for the department, in the city news release. “In addition to field trips, this grant will also help us enhance outdoor classrooms, restore native habitat on school campuses, and launch a career development program for high school students focused on horticulture, habitat restoration, and environmental education."
The Go Wild Program began in 2017 and has educated more than 3,600 students. About 54% of students who participated in past field trips were from Title I schools.
Grapevine received one of 36 grants that were awarded throughout the state, according to the TPWD. More than $1.5 million was given as part of TPWD’s Community Outdoor Outreach Program, which is designed to introduce underrepresented communities to environmental education, conservation and outdoor recreation programs.
“This initiative aligns with our core value of conservation and commitment to preserving natural resources and wildlife habitats and connecting children to nature," said Kevin Mitchell, the director of the Grapevine Parks and Recreation Department, in the news release. "This value is also something that the National Recreation and Parks Association identifies as one of the three pillars in which all parks and recreation agencies should instill in their communities.”
More information about the Go Wild Program can be found here.