Local Conservation Hero Receives Well-Deserved Honor


George Bristol, local author and conservationist, honored by the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge at Fort Worth Wild.
George Bristol on top of a mountain overlooking a blue and green lake and valley
George Bristol enjoying one of his favorite places: Glacier National Park. Photo courtesy of George Bristol.

On April 28, the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge honored George Bristol at its annual fundraising event, Fort Worth Wild. George serves on the Friends’ board and has been instrumental in acquiring Texas Parks and Wildlife funding for the Nature Center, including $200,000 for the now-improved Greer Island Trailhead and added visitor amenities. Most recently, he helped raise $450,000 for new bison viewing decks at the Nature Center.

For more than 40 years, George has been a successful entrepreneur, political organizer, and lobbyist. He was appointed to the National Park Foundation board by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and formed the Texas Coalition for Conservation, where he advocated for better funding for Texas state parks. As president of the organization, he led a statewide effort that culminated in a constitutional amendment that permanently dedicated funding for state and local parks and historic sites. His statewide efforts continued when he helped renew and expand the Texas State Parks Advisory Committee.

“I’ve always thought of George as kind of a contemporary patron saint of the state parks. He grew up using and loving state and national parks, but he has also spent a lifetime giving back to them, making them better than he found them,” comments Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith.

George is the author of Glacier National Park: A Culmination of Giants; his autobiography, Politics and Parks; and the recently commissioned book on the history of the Texas state parks system, which will be published in 2023 – its centennial year.

You can view photos of the event and a tribute video that was created in George’s honor.

The Friends would like to extend a very special thank-you to the sponsors who helped us honor George.

By Haily Summerford, Executive Director, Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

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