Archive for the 'State Parks' Category

Get Dad Outdoors for Father’s Day

Monday, June 12th, 2017
Family time on the water.

Family time on the water.

This is Passport to Texas

A lot of men don’t want friends and family making a big fuss over them on special days – but we’re going to do it for Father’s Day anyway, Daddio, so deal with it.

Show your Dad what he means to you by giving him the gift of the great Texas outdoors on Father’s Day, June 18th.

Maybe the kiddos could spring for a Texas State Parks Pass (which is really like a gift for the whole family); it allows unlimited access to all state parks for a year, discounts on camping, as well as discounts at state parks stores.

Or, you could take Dad fishing at a state park—because everyone fishes for free at Texas State Parks that have fishing opportunities. Some parks even have tackle loaner programs. Just bring your own bait. Plus, you could catch something tasty for your Dad Day Dinner. How cool is that?

If your Dad prefers alone time with nature, and doesn’t already have a limited use permit from Parks and Wildlife, giving one to him provides access to a million acres of public land in Texas where he can hike, mountain bike, do some wildlife viewing, fish—and in some cases—primitive camping.

Texas is a big state that offers an exciting world of outdoor opportunities. Doesn’t your Dad deserve the best of Texas?

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.

VISTA Volunteers at Parks and Wildlife

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
A few of TPWD's Vista Volunteers.

A few of TPWD’s Vista Volunteers.

This is Passport to Texas

Volunteers in Service to America’s, or VISTA, began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in 1964.

We must create a national service corps to help the economic handicapped of our own country, as the Peace Corps now helps those abroad.

Nearly 30 years later, VISTA integrated with AmeriCorps. Individuals volunteer to spend a year in communities working on wide-ranging projects, including environmental stewardship.

This [change] really could tie in greatly in getting VISTAs to come in and help us build some new programs and new projects that we haven’t been able to do in the past.

Kris Shipman, a former AmeriCorps VISTA, is volunteer manager at Texas Parks and Wildlife. She developed the agency’s first VISTA program, which began this past April.

We had to go through a Federal grant process. And, once we were accepted, we received 13 VISTA members. This project will be a three year project; we have a VISTA leader that will be here in Austin. The other 12 are all over the agency.

Including, but not limited to state parks and Children in Nature. Erin Freiboth is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s VISTA leader.

We are here to create and develop foundations for projects and for programs that support and carry on the mission of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

More about the VISTA program tomorrow. 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.

National Trails Day 2017

Thursday, June 1st, 2017
National Trails Day

Get outside and enjoy a state park during National Trails Day.

This is Passport to Texas

National Trails Day is this Saturday, June 3rd. Observe the day by hiking a trail at one of your Texas State Parks.

Our trails really give people an opportunity to experience everything about state parks.

State Parks’, Thomas Wilhelm, says hikers and walkers of all abilities can spend meaningful time on trails. All they need are sturdy shoes, sunscreen, water, perhaps a hiking partner and a sense of adventure.

We have hikes from beginner level paved hikes all the way to very difficult hikes. So, regardless of your skills or your interests – there’s a trail that’s perfect for you [in a state park].

This includes equestrian trails and ADA Accessible trails. The trails in Texas State Parks offer hikers opportunities to experience native plants and wildlife, as well as solitude, peace and calm. And, for those who like to exercise their brain along with their bodies…

There’s also opportunities with interpretive hikes that have panels along the way that explain what’s happening. So, you’re either learning something about nature or about history — or whatever it may be. So it’s both a relaxing experience and an enlightening experience.

Find state park and natural area, hiking opportunities and trail information at

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.

Bust a Move Outdoors for Better Health

Monday, May 15th, 2017
Getting outdoors does a body good.

Getting outdoors does a body good.

This is Passport to Texas

We have more than a million acres of parks and outdoor spaces in Texas, which means recreational opportunities abound, as do the health benefits of being active outside.

It’s recommended adults get a full 30 minutes a day … and children a full hour. Benefits of regular activity include: better overall bodily health as well as improved mental health.

Local and state parks offer something from everyone: from hike and bike trails, to swimming, rock climbing, paddling, and geocaching.

The opportunity for outdoor play is limited only by your imagination!

Being outside means breathing fresh air… and the varying terrain offers challenges to a workout you can’t get from a treadmill at home.

Side stepping puddles, leaping up rocks, and traversing up and down hills exercise your balance and stability in addition to the cardiovascular system.

The outdoor alternative is also more affordable than the gym, as many state parks offer low-cost admission. So go ahead and get out, because life’s better outside.

Find a park or scenic trail near you at

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

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

A Natural Area With a Place For Play

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Government Canyon State Natural Area’s new Naturescape.

This is Passport to Texas

As San Antonio families with young children discover the close proximity of Government Canyon State Natural Area to their homes, more of them visit the site.

We were here, and folks just didn’t realize it. Now, we are being discovered. Folks are coming out from the local neighborhoods—and the word’s getting out.

Superintendent Chris Holm says the site offers 40 miles of rugged trails for hiking and biking. Yet, during periods of heavy rain, staff close the trails until they dry out. What’s a family with kids to do? Since March, they’ve enjoyed a new ADA accessible playscape.

Being that we are a natural area, we went more for not the regular swings and slides and monkey bars kind of playground—we wanted something that blended more with the natural area. And so, being able to offer things like logs and big boulders and rock steps and a little creek bed that kids can play in. It’s been real popular.

Last month Government Canyon State Natural Area also opened an all-weather, one and a quarter mile accessible interpretive nature trail.

You can take a wheelchair on it. We don’t allow bikes or dogs back there. Over the next year, we’ll be adding in interpretive education signing to the trail as well. It’s a really nice trail.

Find more information about Government Canyon State Natural Area at

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