Archive for the 'Events' Category

Birding Classic Attracts Birders Old & New

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
Big Sit in Austin with the Tweeting Chats

Big Sit in Austin with the Tweeting Chats

This is Passport to Texas

The Great Texas Birding Classic continues to attract seasoned and beginning birders to its flock.

It’s really crazy. We keep seeing amazing growth. I keep wondering when we might plateau, and it hasn’t happened yet.

Shelly Plante is Nature Tourism Manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife. The tournament had a growth spurt beginning in 2013 after it became statewide.

We had the largest participation in over ten years in that first year that we were statewide. And that was 58 teams. Since then, we’ve grown every single year; last year in 2016, for our 20th anniversary, we had 113 teams.

The money raised funds conservation grants. Birders have fun doing it, when they participate in various tournaments. One of the most popular is the Big Sit.

And it is what it sounds like. You are sitting in a 17-foot diameter circle for 24 hours (or parts of 24-hours), to see how many birds come through that area. In 2016 of the 113 teams that were registered for the Birding Classic, 40 of those teams were Big Sit teams. And they took place in every region of the state.

Register a team before April 1, at

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with support of proud members across the state. Find out more at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti

2017 Crab Trap Cleanup

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
Derelict crab traps collected from Chocolate Bayou.

Derelict crab traps collected from Chocolate Bayou.

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—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; and 2017 marks the 15th cleanup. During a 10-day period this month, volunteers like you, will join Texas Parks and Wildlife staff and partners, in removing derelict traps.

This year’s cleanup is February 17th through the 26th. The big cleanup “push” is Saturday, February 18 from 10 to noon. This is the only time citizens may remove these traps from gulf waters.

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

Texas Parks and Wildlife and partners facilitate roughly 20 sites coast wide and provide disposal facilities, and supply volunteers with tarps, gloves, crab trap hooks and other items.

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.

First Day Activities in State Parks

Thursday, December 29th, 2016
Palo Duro Canyon First Day hike, Upper Comanche Trail.

Palo Duro Canyon First Day Hike, Upper Comanche Trail.

This is Passport to Texas

As another New Year draws near, we make resolutions to do better and to be better. Increasing our physical activity rates high for most of us. Texas State Parks are stepping up to help you reach your goals with First Day Hikes and other outdoor fun beginning Day One.

That’s right. New year new goals.

That’s Aaron Friar with Texas State Parks.

We have a lot of cool first day hikes, where folks can come out on New year’s Day… on the trails…or we even have biking seminars…or even paddling events. Our parks really embrace the whole New year, new you, new goals and getting people out using the parks. If you’re doing something that’s fun, and you enjoy it—you forget about the work side of it. So, I think when you’re out in the parks and you’re being active, you enjoy it a lot more, and are more inclined to do it again—and make it a habit. If you go to, we have an events page; our parks are constantly posting events on that page. And our first day hikes [and other first day activities] will definitely be on there. The parks really embrace it and have a lot of fun with it.

Find all first day activities at

We record our series at The Block House and Joel Block engineers our program.

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

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

Combat Holiday Calories in State Parks

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Biking in Brazos Bend State Park

Biking in Brazos Bend burns off the pre and post holiday calories.

This is Passport to Texas

We’re standing at the threshold of the holiday season; once we cross over, we’ll encounter sweet and savory goodies with which to indulge our taste buds—both at home and at work. But we can balance out excess calorie consumption by visiting nearby state parks and engaging in outdoor activities before those treats touch our lips.

Yes. It’s really funny you say that. A lot of our parks, that’s a part of their activities and events that they’re putting on. The pre-Thanksgiving hikes and paddles and biking events…just to kind of get you ready for that whole holiday family and fun and food and all that.

Aaron Friar is with Texas State Parks. Except for rare occasions—like fire and flood—parks never close. So even after the biggest feeding frenzy of the season known as Thanksgiving, Texas State Parks stand ready to help all of us digest.

After you’ve had a good time with the family and ate your fill, and you’re wanting to get out there and be a little active afterwards, we have parks that are doing hikes and some really cool events to get you out there—to get you a little active—after those holiday feasts, you could say.

Don’t take Thanksgiving overindulgence lying down. Find a complete list of pre and post-Thanksgiving activities at state parks when you log onto the calendar & events section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

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

Fall Events in State Parks 2016

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Fall Color at Lost Maples State Natural Area

Fall Color at Lost Maples State Natural Area

This is Passport to Texas

Texas has more than 90 state parks, and nearly all offer year round activities for visitors. But fall is by far a favorite time to enjoy these natural areas.

It’s cooler weather. The fall foliage changing always brings everybody out. Everybody loves to see that.

Aaron Friar works with Texas state parks.

We do have the fall foliage hikes. Come out and they’ll take you on a hike; they’ll teach you about the different trees, which ones are changing, what colors you’re seeing, and what kinds of tree species change at what time

Come for the colorful foliage and stay for the family friendly holiday crafts.

Several parks are doing different kinds of crafts events. One that I think would be really neat is at LBJ—at the farm, Sauer Beckmann—you know they have the traditional German family holidays. They’re having cookie decorating, and they’re having crafts for the tree—coming up for the Christmas holiday season—as well. So, that should be a really fun one in terms of arts and crafts.

No matter where you live, a state park is just a short drive away. Make plans to visit one today.

Find a comprehensive list of all fall, winter and holiday events at state parks in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

We record our series at the Block House in Austin, Texas.

Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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