In addition to its traditional grants, the foundation supports two special initiatives: the Boggy Slough Conservation Area, and Impact Lufkin.
Located west of Lufkin, the Boggy Slough Conservation Area contains some of the oldest and most ecologically significant hardwood forest habitat in East Texas and spans 18 miles of river frontage along the Neches River. For decades the area has been managed as a wildlife and forest management research and demonstration area, providing habitat for white-tailed deer and eastern wild turkey, as well as numerous ducks, songbirds, and fish.
The mission of the Boggy Slough Conservation Area is threefold: 1) to serve as a model for conservation and land management for a wide range of audiences, 2) to serve as a catalyst for creating a stewardship ethic and connection to nature in our communities, and 3) to fill critical research holes regarding the forest and bottomland ecosystems of the Southeast. Specific planning related to the long-term research agenda and our education and outreach activities is ongoing. Be on the lookout for more information related to our long-term vision for the Boggy Slough Conservation Area later this year.
Impact Lufkin is a collaborative community revitalization project between the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, residents of the North Lufkin community, Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) and Lufkin city leaders. The goal of the initiative is to improve lives and strengthen the under-resourced neighborhood of North Lufkin by building on local assets to stimulate economic development while providing social services to those who need a helping hand.
Poverty is a persistent problem in the North Lufkin community, leaving residents with limited options for employment, education, and services. According to the U.S.. Census, the median household income for North Lufkin is around $30,833 a year--30% lower than the Angelina County median, and almost 42% lower than the Texas median. Almost 32% of North Lufkin residents live in poverty, compared to 19% in Angelina County and 17% in Texas. Those under the age of 18 fair the worst, with almost 46% living in poverty, compared to 30% in Angelina County and 25% in Texas.
Impact Lufkin was inspired by the late Buddy Temple, former Chairman of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation. Mr. Temple recognized that to make a transformational change within the North Lufkin community, a comprehensive and collaborative investment would be required from the foundation, residents, leaders, and other stakeholders.
Participants working within the Impact Lufkin initiative are utilizing an innovative approach to social change called Collective Impact. Recognizing that no single organization can solve a major social problem by itself, Collective Impact applies cross-sector collaboration by working with local leaders using local data to establish local priorities while engaging local partners to achieve measurable results for the community. Currently in the early planning stages, Impact Lufkin participants--community members, city leaders, stakeholders, foundation staff and researchers from the SFASU School of Social Work--meet weekly to discuss ideas and potential solutions. In addition, faculty and students from the SFASU School of Social Work are utilizing an Appreciative Inquiry approach by interviewing residents and holding focus groups to identify community assets on which to build.
Leaders of Impact Lufkin recognize that community revitalization will only work when there is strong participation from local residents. Residents provide critical information regarding the needs of their community and a strong desire to take an active role in deciding how their community will prosper. By working alongside residents in North Lufkin, city leaders and other stakeholders, the foundation hopes to contribute to a thriving neighborhood in the heart of Deep East Texas.
In 2012, the Keeler Grant Program was established through a testamentary gift to the T. L. L. Temple Foundation by Thomas Temple Keeler and his wife, Cora. The Keeler Endowment was created in memory of Mr. Keeler’s grandfather, T. L. L. Temple, and Mr. Keeler’s mother, Marguerite Temple Payne.
Keeler Program grants are awarded annually to invited charitable organizations, the majority being non-profit agencies located within the Foundation’s Primary Geographic Area of Interest (PGAI).
For more information about the Keeler Grant Program, or to see if you qualify,please contact Tami Musick at either 936-634-3900 or tmusick (at) tlltf.org.