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Balmorhea Blue Pool Parties: Garrison Brothers Distillery Announce ‘Good Bourbon for a Good Cause’

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It’s been announced that Garrison Brothers Distillery, based in Hye, in the Texas Hill Country, will be holding a series of progressive pool parties with the goal of fundraising for the “…improvement, beautification, and preservation of Balmorhea State Park.” The announcement comes on the heels of this state park’s pool closure by Texas Parks & Wildlife. Dan Garrison, owner of Garrison Brothers Distillery, stated that this move was being made as a gesture to “…give back to the springs that have given so much to generations of Texas families.”

The indefinite closure of the Balmorhea State Park’s pool was announced due to structural failure as a result of damage to the concrete apron beneath the diving board. Used to stabilize the pool walls and protect from erosion, the apron was damaged during the pool’s annual cleaning on May 6, 2018. Consequently, concerned citizens and members of the private sector are stepping forward in efforts to raise the funds required for the repairs and maintenance in the park.

Balmorhea Blue Pool Parties: Garrison Brothers Distillery Announce ‘Good Bourbon for a Good Cause’
Photo: Facebook/Balmorhea State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife

This need for additional funding for Texas State Parks is nothing new. In 2015, Texas lawmakers passed a law dedicating 94 percent of all sporting good tax dollars to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, but after the state required the dollars for other uses, that allocation dropped to 83 percent. Although the 85th Texas Legislative session saw the dedication of $49 million to repairs to our state parks, by June 2017, the TPWD had over $580 million in backlogged maintenance required at 91 state parks. Visitor numbers have increased from year-to-year. 2016 saw 9 million visitors, 500K more than in the previous year. The outstanding backlog is hard to fathom for business-owners and avid outdoorsmen such as Garrison. “Balmorhea State Park is a Texas treasure,” said Garrison in a recent statement. “We’re going to work closely with Texas Parks and Wildlife and we’re gonna fix it! We’re about to show the world the power of good bourbon and good people. And when the pool reopens, we’re going to throw the largest pool party anyone’s ever seen out there, and everyone who made a contribution is coming.”

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