Our mission is to provide advocacy, opportunity, and resources to support and sustain Big Bend Ranch State Park and to enhance visitor experiences and educate the public on the wonders of the park and the importance of their natural and cultural resources.


Like any good conservancy we support Big Bend Ranch State Park in multiple ways but our primary goal is, you guessed it, fundraising! We do other things too like volunteer for park projects and serve the local area through an annual scholarship.  


We receive donations from people like you through annual donations, fundraising events and partnerships with other organizations. We then turn around and donate that money to Big Bend Ranch State Park.

What does the money pay for?

Remember that time we paid for….

  • Garmin SOS services while the park waited on the state’s official funding channels (it took over a year to process the paperwork!)
  • A whole load of tools specifically for trail maintenance.
  • Search and rescue equipment (to save those of us who get in a bit over our heads!)

We also pay for food used served at park interpretative events, orientations for outfitters, park maps (the ones you get when you check in), volunteer appreciation events and each year we award a scholarship to a local student who wants to start a career with the park service.

What about the state?

There are some things the state won’t pay for, for example, food for park events must be paid for with private funds and the state won’t allow for the purchase of used equipment (we need a road grater!). Sometimes, the state will pay for stuff but going through the process to ask for funds takes a while so we step in to fill the gap so those needs can be met sooner (like the Garmin SOS service). Sometimes the need is small and it’s easier to ask us for the funds rather than filling out the paperwork with the state.

What kind of events do you host?

Our biggest fundraising event is our online auction which takes place each October. Businesses local to the Big Bend area generously donate hotel stays, golf rounds, Airbnb rentals, outdoor excursions to us to auction off to the highest bidder. Minus the minor costs of the online platform, all proceeds go directly to Big Bend Ranch State Park. 

Other events in the past have included Backcountry Taproom, and partner events such as those with Tall City Brewing and Big Budda Bakery. Additional fundraising events are held based on availability of our volunteers. 

Who are your partner organizations?

We are lucky enough to have several organizations who share our mission of conserving local resources and supporting Big Bend Ranch State Park!

  • Trail Roots, a trail running coaching and race company donates a portion of the proceeds from Big Bend Ultra, the Ultra is held annually on the Sunday of MLK weekend.
  • Natural Tribute, (COMING SOON) artist Andrew Maxwell has a passion for supporting our natural areas and partners with both region, state and national parks to create unique art pieces representing their respective park partners. We receive a portion of the proceeds from Big Bend Ranch State Park merchandice.
  • Robert and Jenny Fuller, who give a portion of the proceeds from their book Big Bend Ranch State Park: Half Day Hikes

No matter the needs, we are here for the park. Why? Because we’re FRIENDS! Each year the park gives us a list of needs for the upcoming year and we work hard to meet those needs. Most of the time those needs are monetary but we’ve been known to roll up our sleeves from time to time! 


Though the park’s needs are primarily monetary occasionally they ask us to step up and get our hands dirty through some good, old-fashioned manual labor! We don’t have a lot of manpower, so occasionally we donate money to other local organizations, like Big Bend Trials Alliance, so they can do the manual labor for us! Like they say, it takes a village!

Highway Cleanup

The two-mile stretch of FM 170 between Lajitas and Barton Warnock Visitor Center belongs to Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park! Though local visitors are very good at packing out trash, litter accumulates. We host clean up events several times a year and are always looking for volunteers to help us keep our stretch of one of the most beautiful roads in America litter-free!

Rio Grande River Cleanup

One weekend a year, Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park removes trash from tributaries, roadways and riverbanks to prevent pollution on the Rio Grande.


In 2019, Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park helped fund and construct the Papalote Escondido Wildlife Photography and Birding Blind located three miles west of the Sauceda Headquarters in the interior of Big Bend Ranch State Park. For more information about the blind click here.


We use our communication channels and social media to help Big Bend Ranch State Park communicated pertinent information regarding visitor experience, and park safety.


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