Archive for the 'Events' Category

Learn to Camp–No Experience Required

Monday, February 12th, 2018
Texas Outdoor Family Workshop

Texas Outdoor Family Workshop

This is Passport to Texas

Have your kids been begging you to take them on an overnight camping trip at a Texas State Park? Have they talked excitedly about sleeping in a tent and making s’mores over a campfire, or maybe even catching a fish? If you’ve been putting them off because you’re out of practice, or never learned the skills in the first place—we can help.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers the Texas Outdoor Family program to help you to hone or to develop outdoor skills. During one or two-night workshops, state park staff lead families through the basics of setting up camp and getting the most out of their time in nature.

All camping gear and equipment required for an overnight stay at the park is included with each reservation! Just bring your family—that’s up to six people—sheets, blankets and food and you are ready for a camping adventure.

But you need to register in advance, and workshops fill fast. Workshops are scheduled in March at Lake Tawakoni State Park, Galveston Island State Park, Buescher State Park, Lake Ray Roberts State Park, and Huntsville State Park. There are more workshops in April, May and June at other state parks.

Texas Outdoor Family Workshops are always fun; you’ll leave the park with new confidence in your ability to enjoy overnight camping with your family and friends.

Find details in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

2018 Crab Trap Removal

Monday, February 5th, 2018
Dead crab in abandoned trap, San Antonio Bay. Image  Art Morris, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Dead crab in abandoned trap, San Antonio Bay. Image
Art Morris, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

This is Passport to Texas

Commercial crab fishermen use baited wire traps to lure their prey. Sometimes traps end up missing due to storms, or they are simply discarded.

These traps continue “ghost fishing” for months or years—capturing fish and other marine creatures, including endangered species, thus taking an environmental and economic toll on gulf fisheries.

In February of 2002, Texas Parks and Wildlife conducted the first abandoned crab trap removal program. During a 10-day period in February volunteers like you, join Texas Parks and Wildlife staff and partners, in removing derelict traps.

More than 32,000 crab traps have been removed from the gulf since 2002, saving tens of thousands of marine organisms.

This year’s cleanup is February 16th through the 25th. The big cleanup “push” is Saturday, February 17 from 10 to noon. The cleanup is the only time citizens may remove these traps from gulf waters.

Texas Parks and Wildlife facilitates roughly 20 coastal sites, and provides disposal facilities, tarps, gloves, crab trap hooks and other items to help volunteers remove troublesome traps.

To volunteer for this year’s program visit the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal page on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish restoration Program supports our series.

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

A Weed Walk on the Wild Side at WOB

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
Park Interpreter at Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Park Interpreter at Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

This is Passport to Texas

Try as she might, Perry Foskey’s efforts to grow a vegetable garden in her East Texas backyard failed.

The weeds did really well. And I just got to looking around [and wondered]: why am I fighting this? And I started doing
some research on the weeds and [discovered] they were actually edible.

Foskey–who works at Washington-on-the Brazos–Barrington Living History Farm–proposed a program for the historic site on identifying edible wild plants.

I thought it would be an excellent accent for the farm, itself. And visitors have liked that program, and it’s been a great success.

Dr. Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen of Foraging Texas will facilitate two wild edible plant identification walks at the site on Saturday, November fourth.

Dr. Merriwether…he’s been foraging for a very, very long time. His parents even did it back in the depression; they subsidized their food source with foraging. He is one of the premier foragers in this area, and we’re so lucky to have him come out and teach these classes.

The plant ID walks with Merriwether are nine to noon, and one to four on November 4th. Interested? Give Perry Foskey a call.

And, we’ll be glad to put them on the list. We recommend the classes should be for 12 years of age and up. And the classes are absolutely free.

Find more information in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

2017 Texas Pollinator BioBlitz

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
#TXPollinators

#TXPollinators

This is Passport to Texas

Love bugs? There’s still time to participate in the Pollinator BioBlitz, which continues through October 8th.

[We have] two goals in mind: to increase awareness about pollinators, and about the habitat that they require.

Johnnie Smith is Conservation Education Manager. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, beetles, moths and other critters that move pollen while foraging.

If you participate in the pollinator bio-blitz, you’re going to have an opportunity to observe pollinators at a site that you visit, like your local zoo or aquarium or nature center. And observe the pollinators that are there. Grab a picture of the pollinators you find, and you can post them onto Instagram. We’re asking all of the participants to use the hashtag #savethepollinators.

Post findings, on iNaturalist.org. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website, has pages dedicated to the Pollinator Bioblitz.

Where people can learn what pollinators might be in their area. Links to what might be blooming in your area right now—that’s hosted out of the Wildflower center—and then also, to be aware of habitat you have that supports pollinators. And if you don’t have habitat in or near your home, school library… We’re encouraging people to try and get organized in planting pollinator habitat.

The Pollinator BioBlitz began September 23 and runs through October 8th.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

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

Small Town, Big Fun — Texas Bison Fest

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
Music, food and fun -- to support bison restoration.

Music, food and fun — to support bison restoration.

This is Passport to Texas

On Saturday September 23 part of downtown Quitaque, Texas will be shut down…for the love of bison.

This is [for] the seventh annual Texas State Bison Music Festival.

Donald Beard is superintendent of Caprock Canyons State Park, home to the official state bison herd. The festival raises awareness and funds for continued restoration of the animals and their habitat.

This year’s event will be held in downtown Quitaque; the food and arts and crafts vendors will start at around nine o’clock. So, you can come do some shopping, buy some local goods, get some great food. We’ll have some historical reenactors so you can see what life was like in this area a couple of hundred years ago. Then, the music starts about three o’clock.

With five bands on the bill attendees will have plenty of opportunity for boot scooting. While the fun seems limitless, the tickets are not.

It’s actually a small festival by festival standards. We don’t want it to get real big. The max number of tickets we’re selling is 12-hundred. And, last year we had a thousand or so people. So, we’re getting to the point where we’re almost getting ready to start selling out.

Find complete details and ticket prices for the September 23rd Texas State Bison Music Festival at bisonfest.org.

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