AUSTIN, Texas — It is said that giving is better than receiving, but why not do both this holiday season.

Persons who order a Texas State Parks Pass gift certificate before Dec. 31 to give to that special someone will receive a Texas State Parks holiday tree ornament just for giving a gift of the great outdoors.

The $60 state parks pass, which debuted on Jan. 1, provides not only a year of free entry to more than 120 state parks and historic sites for members and their guests, but also discounts on camping, state park store merchandise, recreational equipment rentals and other perks. Through October, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had sold 53,772 park passes, generating $3.3 million to support Texas state park operations.

“The parks pass paves the way for the gift recipient to enjoy a year’s worth of the beautiful Texas outdoors and many of the state’s most important heritage sites,” said Walt Dabney, Texas State Parks director. “The commemorative tree ornament just sweetens the pot.”

You can purchase Texas State Parks Pass gift certificates at your favorite state park or historic site, or by calling TPWD’s Customer Contact Center at (512) 389-8900. The center’s operating hours are: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Pass members also are entitled to receive a quarterly e-newsletter, “The Getaway Planner”; a free copy of the Texas State Park Guide; and an “I Belong in Texas State Parks” decal. For more information about the park pass, visit the Web (

In addition to the parks pass, holiday shoppers can purchase a host of other unusual gift items from TPWD, such as books, videos, conservation license plates, posters, wildlife stamps and more, by visiting the Web ( and selecting the “Great Holiday Gifts” link. – Lake Mohave

– Lake Mohave

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