TPWD Raises $335,000 In Three Weeks, But...

It's been about three weeks since the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department put out a frantic call for donations to make up for a $4.6 million budget shortfall caused by the drought.

How are they doing?

At first glance, it seems okay -- $335,000 has been raised, TPWD says. But that includes a single donation of $250,000, so the rest of Texas needs to pick up the pace by at least visiting state parks.

TPWD says it's happy with how the effort is going, though.

"We are tremendously encouraged and very grateful that we've received upwards of $335,000 in barely three weeks, with steady donations continuing to come in," said Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department executive director.

TPWD says that from Dec. 6 through the 27th, people had donated $64,826 online and another $20,685 has come through snail mail, including a single $10,000 check.

"Every donation, no matter the size, is important and appreciated," Smith said.

Ways to give:

-- Go to the website to make a tax-deductible, year-end donation. -- Make a donation when you renew your motor vehicle registration. -- Finally, because visitor fees pay for about half of park system operating costs, visit state parks often with family and friends.