Texas, with a nudge from state Sen. John Whitmire of Houston, has joined the list of funding sources for further development and expansion of the Willow Waterhole Greenspace.

Contained in the Texas Legislature’s main budget bill, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law in late May, is $21 million for 11 selected local parks across the state — including $1 million for the versatile Willow Waterhole Greenspace. The money comes from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

In a talk to the Westbury Civic Club Aug. 16, Whitmire said he had secured the grant during the regular legislative session.

The state’s contribution allowed the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy to meet its $12 million fundraising goal for improvements to the 291-acre community park and floodwater detention facility in the Brays Oaks Management District, which has funded some of the improvements and a greenspace development study.

Major local charitable foundations have provided most of the donations. Project funding has also come from the City of Houston and Harris County through Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum and Commissioner Rodney Ellis, respectively.

After meeting its original fundraising goal, the conservancy will continue to solicit donations because inflation has raised the cost of the planned improvements above $12 million, president Bill Burhans said.