Spring Break: Fishing and More

March 4th, 2015
Fishing on the South Llano River

Fishing on the South Llano River

This is Passport to Texas

Sometimes things sneak up on us before we’re ready. Take spring break, for example. Are you at a loss for what to do with the family? Robert Ramirez with Outreach and Education at Texas Parks and Wildlife says there’s something for everyone when you visit a state park.

There is something for everybody: everything from hikes to stargazing. The little “techie” kids can grab their iPads and iPhones and utilize those at night. There are things for the adults. The Go Fish programs are for both kids and adults alike. All our parks are great for fishing, and you never know what you’re going to get in some of those bodies of water down there.

What if you don’t have tackle?

Our state parks – most of them – have tackle loaner programs available. Just look online at the park you’re going to visit and double check to make sure they do have a tackle loaner program available.

Speaking of online, is this where people can go to plan their last minute, but very fun, state park getaway for their spring break vacation?

Yes. Definitely. Go to our website, and under ‘calendar’ click on ‘kids’ and the mid two weeks of March are just chock full of events for kids and families and things for them to do.

Remember: Life’s Better Outside. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Spring Break: Photography

March 3rd, 2015
Photographing spring wildflowers.

Photographing spring wildflowers.

This is Passport to Texas

Introduce youngsters to photography this spring break as a fun and affordable way to get them interested in nature and the outdoors.

08—I believe that all children have a basic connection with the outdoors and I do feel that photography is a good way to develop that bond. It can really enhance that experience altogether.

Texas Parks and Wildlife photographer Chase Fountain says picture taking is a great way for kids to record and enhance their experiences in nature.

15—Let’s say you’re out and about and you’re on a family vacation… that’s a great way for you to be able to record those memories and take them back with you. With today’s technology and digital cameras only starting at $20, it’s affordable for almost any family to buy cameras for the kids and let them experience nature.

The key to getting kids outside is to find something that makes going outdoors sound like even more fun.

09—As far as utilizing photography… you know every kid is different and maybe some kids won’t like photography, but for some that might just be the proper tool to get them outdoors.

Visit passporttotexas.org for more ideas for getting your kids engaged in the outdoors.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Spring Break: Family Fun

March 2nd, 2015
Spring Break: Camping at a state park with the family.

Spring Break: Camping at a state park with the family.

This is Passport to Texas

Spend time with the family outdoors this spring break.

I believe it’s very important for families to spend time outdoors. Especially in the metropolitan areas, (where) people aren’t able
to fully experience nature in a natural setting.

Doug Huggins works with state parks in the Houston area, but when we spoke, he worked at Bastrop State Park. Parks buffer visitors from the hubbub of city life.

16—It’s a good place to see nature; to look at the flora and fauna, and get out of the city and feel like you’re away from it all… and you can leave all the hustle, bustle and business behind, and slow down for a little while to think about what’s going on right here right now.

Spring break can be sunny and warm or cold and wet; whatever the weather you can enjoy the Texas outdoors. If an overnight stay is in your future, and the weather warrants, consider cabins—like those at Bastrop State Park.

20—They’re nice and cozy. They also have heaters and they have fire rings outside so you can have fires and roast marshmallows and make s’mores. It’s a great place to spend time with the family; and in the winter time we still have some people that come out who take advantage of the bluebird days when it’s mild and the sun is out, to look at what winter residents we have at the park.

Find a link to state park information and reservations at passporttotexas.org

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: San Jacinto Monument

February 27th, 2015
San Jacinto Monument

San Jacinto Monument

This is Passport to Texas

Rising from the flat Texas wetlands along the Houston ship channel, the San Jacinto Monument is one of the most recognizable symbols of Texas history. Larry Spasic is President of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association.

14— This monument was built to be a memorial to remind us of the sacrifices of all those who fought for Texas independence. And when people come here, they see that singular vision in the San Jacinto Monument.

Watch a segment about the monument next week on the PBS TPW TV series. Russ Kuykendall, retired site superintendent, says the obelisk is a soaring monument to commemorate a small battle with huge consequences that took place on that site in 1836.

15— The monument really honors both sides of the battle – both Mexico and Texas. And, of course, independence [was] won for Texas from Mexico at this site. And so, what better site to have this magnificent monument erected to honor all of those individuals.

The San Jacinto Monument state historic site embodies the hopes and dreams of the people who fought for the future of Texas.

Watch a segment on the monument and Texas history next week on the PBS Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

NOTE: As happens from time to time, there’s been a change in the PBS TV program schedule. The above show about the San Jacinto Monument will not air until a later date. However, you can still catch a TV segment that highlights the San Jacinto Battlegrounds, called Charlie and his Cannon through February 28 on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Television series. Check your local listings.

Nature: Feeling Ownership of the Outdoors

February 26th, 2015
Children enjoying the outdoors

Children enjoying the outdoors

This is Passport to Texas

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle is coming to Texas in April for the Children in Nature Network Conference. As a child, he says he felt ownership of the woods near his home, the kind of ownership that often eludes today’s youth.

As an 8 year old, I pulled out –I think—hundreds of survey stakes that I knew had something to do with the bulldozers that were taking out other woods. I think I held ‘em off for a while. In any case, I was telling the story about pulling out stakes [at a conference]. And afterwards in the discussion period a rancher stood up, and he was sunburned, he was in his sixties, white handlebar moustache…And he said, you know that story you told about pulling out survey stakes? And he said, I did that when I was a boy. And then he began to cry in front of five hundred people. And despite his deep sense of embarrassment, he continued to speak about his sense of grief that his might be one of the last generations to have that kind of sense of ownership of land that has nothing to do with money—it goes deeper than that.

Help children connect with the land. Learn more about the Children and Nature Network Conference April 7 – 9 at passportotexas.org.

For Texas parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.