The Texas state parks system: an administrative history, 1923-1984
Toney, Sharon Morris
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Broadly speaking state parks are areas of public land designed to provide recreation in natural settings. In Texas today they are the mainstay of public recreation. Texas boasts 136 state parks, encompassing more than 500,000 acres of land, and over 26 million people visit Texas's state parks each year. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department administers the Texas state parks system, which grew from a national movement to set aside public lands as recreation areas.