03/12/13 4:00pm

$17.5M TO BE SPENT REPAIRING BATTLESHIP TEXAS Leaking and taking on Ship Channel water since last summer, Battleship Texas will be receiving some structural repairs beginning this April: Texas Parks and Wildlife announced today — the 99th anniversary of the ship’s call to action — that a $17.5 million contract with a North Carolina firm will cover “about half” the repairs needed; they’ll be “a first step,” says TPWD’s Scott Stover, to ready the sinking ship for its eventual dry berth. During the repairs, history seekers and field trippers should still be able to see some significant sights: “[T]he ship will remain open to the public as conditions allow, and visitors will see plenty of activity at the site, as well as construction equipment and an access barge on the north side of the ship.” [Texas Parks and Wildlife; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Candace Garcia

12/05/12 9:54am

DYING TO GET INTO STATE PARKS Texas’s Parks and Wildlife Dept. is considering a novel way to expand parkland. Nothing’s carved in stone, but Ted Hollingsworth, director of land conservation, says that the department will continue to discuss with the Green Burial Council the possibility of “partnering with death service providers or funeral directors” to annex properties adjacent to existing state parks after they’ve been transformed into green burial sites: “We wouldn’t own or manage the cemetery,” Hollingsworth tells teevee reporter Josh Hinkle, “but where people pay for [green] burials a certain part of that payment takes out that land, and pays for that land, that then does get added to the state park. . . . Makes more habitat for turkey, quail, deer, snakes, lizards. . . . Makes more room for trails, picnic areas, all of that. Where we have opportunities to add land, especially not at the cost of the taxpayers, we want to explore those.” Hinkle adds: “However, [Hollingsworth] said bodies would not be near campsites — a relief for regulars like Dave and Kanita Riggle.” [KXAN] Photo of Huntsville State Park: Flickr user TX Diva