I’ve soul searched about my column (“State got it half right on nature center renovation,” The Daily News, July 10), but I still feel strongly that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sold short the park, the Friends of Galveston Island State Park, and park patrons in the redesign of the Galveston Island State Park Nature Center.

That was presented as one man’s opinion and perhaps not all of Friends of Galveston Island State Park members agree with me. However, if you understood how much volunteer time and donor money the group has invested in the park, especially in the nature center, to enhance the visitors’ natural, educational and recreational experience, you’d understand at least a slight feeling of ownership on our part.

That’s particularly so where the nature center is concerned. The friends group has spent a lot of both time and money gathering and commissioning specimens and educational and entertaining displays, most of which especially fascinated the youngsters.

The group will take the opportunity to present that case at its 2019 annual meeting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at The Galveston Island Country Club. We’ll be conducting the usual business of new board member elections, guest speaker, etc., and the usual wine and finger food will be provided by Vic Pearson and the Moody National Bank.

Most importantly, Lynn Smith, our president, will showcase our major past accomplishments, our current ongoing activities and projects, and our vision of what will be our future as an adjunct to the park.

Additionally, we will distribute a DVD that illustrates the evolution of our love affair with the nature center. Nonetheless, we do understand that our status is solely as a supporting entity and not as part of the governing body, and that our mission is to assist park personnel and to supplement park resources, but perhaps after we lead you through all of this, you’ll excuse us and agree that we deservedly have a more than strong feeling of ownership in our park, and fore-mostly, in the nature center.

I think that I can safely speak for the group when I invite you to come on down to “The Island” to spend an afternoon with us. We suggest that you come early or “stay a little longer” to visit the park to see all the places you might fish or paddle or hike or enjoy the sun and surf, or hopefully, to take in the nature center.

You can see for yourself how attractively and professionally the geology, the ecology, and the anthropology of the park has been presented, and perhaps you might even forgive the parks and wildlife department for omitting how you could have some fun while you’re here.

Perhaps too, you will miss “Buccee the Dolphin” or the indoor beehive as much as we do.

Frank Bowser lives in Galveston.

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(1) comment

Leigh Cowart

I hope the tide turns and the powers that be take into consideration your groups efforts to make this park an exceptional experience. We have a gem on the gulf coast and I would hate to see it be anything but that. Lord knows after Hurricane Ike the struggles were real and the volunteers and staff brought the park back to life and better than before!!

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