In addition to its traditional grants, the foundation recently identified two special initiatives. Read more below about The Boggy Slough Conservation Area and North Lufkin.
BOGGY SLOUGH CONSERVATION AREA
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.
NORTH LUFKIN LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
In 2015, the foundation launched a project to better understand the assets and priorities of the North Lufkin community. The goal of the project was to improve lives and strengthen the under-resourced neighborhood of North Lufkin by building on local assets to stimulate economic development and growth while providing social services to those who need a helping hand.
Although there are assets in the community, poverty is a persistent problem in the North Lufkin community. 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.
To begin the project, the foundation contracted with researchers from the Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) School of Social Work to conduct a study using appreciative inquiry. The researchers conducted interviews and focus groups with residents, and business and community leaders over many months to identify issues, assets, and goals for improvement. Additionally, residents of North Lufkin met on a weekly basis with representatives of SFASU, the foundation, and local organization and agencies to discuss community priorities and to learn about services available to the community.
The study will conclude in summer 2017 with a report to be released sometime thereafter. In support of the North Lufkin community, the foundation has already made several commitments.
- We participated in attracting to North Lufkin the new headquarters building for the Deep East Texas Council of Governments.
- The foundation assisted in reopening the Jones Park swimming pool.
- We contributed to establishing the East Texas Community Health Services clinic as the only physician’s office currently operating in North Lufkin.
The foundation has a history of supporting organizations working in and for the benefit of North Lufkin, and it looks forward to reviewing the SFASU report to determine next steps.
KEELER GRANT PROGRAM
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.