George Bristol has spent most of his adult life devoted to parks. In 1961, he was a student at the University of Texas and took a summer job on a trail crew at Glacier National Park. That was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with national parks that eventually led to his appointment to the board of the National Park Foundation, where he raised the public profile of national parks during his tenure.
He then put those fundraising and advocacy skills to work on his home ground in Texas to solidify support for the state parks system. Over the course of nearly two decades, Bristol worked tirelessly to promote and enhance Texas State Parks. He served as chairman of the Texas State Parks Advisory Committee and led a statewide effort for better park funding. In 2007, the Texas Legislature nearly tripled the appropriations to parks, and in 2015, the Legislature passed HB158, which dedicates all revenue generated by the sporting goods sales tax to Texas parks and historic sites.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Bristol is continuing his efforts to ensure a quality park system in Texas for generations to come. That’s why Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation was the perfect place to establish a fund that will support continued education for park employees. Grants from the George Bristol Texas Parks Leadership Fund will enable qualified State Parks Division staff at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to attend nationally recognized leadership training programs.
“There was no question about where this fund should be housed,” said Bristol. “Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has been supporting Texas State Parks for more than a quarter of a century. I am honored to have my name associated with a fund that will continually improve the education of Texas’ state park employees and provide the tools for staff to conserve the best of our shared natural and historic treasures.”