Chaco Gives Back returns to Whole Earth Provision Co. starting June 18th and running through July 5th. During these two weeks, for every full price pair of Chaco shoes and sandals purchased at Whole Earth stores, Chaco will donate $5 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is often short of water, so The Friends are planning to use the money raised this year to create a rainwater collection system for the landscaping around the headquarters building. In addition, our Austin North Lamar store will welcome the Chaco Z the World Tour on Friday, July 1st from 1 to 4 pm. Attractions include – free Kona Ice Snow Cones, swag giveaways, games, a chance to try the Chaco 360° virtual reality experience, and an opportunity to enter the Chaco Sweepstakes. The prize: $5000 in airline travel!
Chaco Footwear, known for their ‘go everywhere, do anything sandals,’ is a very generous contributor to local causes. Since 2008, they have contributed almost $30,000 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock in response to purchases made at Whole Earth Provision Co. stores. The Chaco Gives Back funds have been used for many projects including retrofitting antiquated plumbing fixtures in the Park to low-flow water saving systems; providing funding for visitor trail maps; improving the trail system by reclaiming areas where small game trails had turned into human ones, causing erosion; purchasing recycling receptacles for the Park; and last year, adding Elkay filtered water stations that include taps for the easy filling of reusable water bottles.
The recycling stations around the park are doing a brisk business. During Spring Break 2016, in just two weeks, park staff and volunteers recycled 269 pounds of plastic bottles from the stations. The annual total has been over 3,000 pounds of plastic bottles. The filtered water stations purchased with Chaco’s 2015 donation have digital counters which show how many bottle fills have been made, and the number is huge: 19,345 fills by the first of May, and that is less than three months after installation! The Friends would like to get that plastic bottle recycling number down, so the park store carries refillable bottles, and they are hoping more and more Park visitors are buying them or bringing their own refillable bottles.
Enchanted Rock is a truly magical place. The exposed pink granite batholith reaches an elevation of 1,825 feet, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding Hill Country. The rock is ancient, perhaps a billion years old and has been called the Heart of Texas. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area covers over 600 acres and is host to over 500 species of plants that live on the rock itself. Wildlife found in the park includes birds, bats, lizards, squirrels and fox. Park visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, rock climbing, bird watching and stargazing. In 2014, Enchanted Rock was designated an International Dark Skies Park, one of the few in the nation.
The Friends of Enchanted Rock (FOER) is a volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1999. Their mission is to work in partnership with Texas Parks & Wildlife to promote conservation of Enchanted Rock’s natural and cultural resources through preservation, education and improvement efforts. FOER is the first and only official support group dedicated to the conservation and protection of Enchanted Rock and has received support from other Whole Earth Community Partners – Central Texas Mountaineers and Texas Parks & Wildlife and through community events like the Granite Gripper Climbing Competition.
Chaco Footwear is ‘Fit for Adventure.’ Their signature adjustable nylon sandals put Chaco on the map for outdoor enthusiasts around the world. Their popularity has grown through the years and styles now include casual footwear and shoes, which you can find at Whole Earth stores. So if you have been thinking about purchasing a new pair of Chacos, now is the time! You’ll have a great pair of shoes or sandals, and you’ll help keep Enchanted Rock a magical place, today and for generations to come.