Archive for the 'State Parks' Category

TPW TV — Hike Across Texas

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
Eisenhower State Park gets visit from 72-year-pld Dave Roberts,  walking across Texas - Image: Herald Democrat - Sherman, TX

Eisenhower State Park gets visit from 72-year-old Dave Roberts, walking across Texas – Image: Herald Democrat – Sherman, TX

This is Passport to Texas

For septuagenarian, Dave Roberts, an adventure that took him across Texas on foot, started a little more than two decades ago with a dream…

In my dream, I died and I went to heaven. St. Peter looks at me and he looks down at his book and he looks at me again and says, ‘Why didn’t you take advantage of what they had to offer down there?’ End of dream.

A retired math teacher and computer programmer from Maryland, Dave soon quit his job to become a full-time volunteer, taking time off for adventures.

I don’t want to just sit at home and play card games on the computer and raid the refrigerator every ten minutes and get fat and lazy. I want to be outdoors, I want to breathe unfiltered air, I want the weather to affect me, I want to meet people I’ve never met, I want to go places I’ve never been, and that’s the lifestyle that I’ve chosen for myself.

That’s how Dave Roberts ended up walking across Texas, visiting close to 30 state parks along the way.

Visiting state parks has made my trip much more interesting. I made a spreadsheet: at 15 miles a day, how many state parks can I do? And I came out to 23 state parks. When I got to Tyler, I was like a week and a half ahead of schedule. I was doing 23 miles a day, not 15.

Join Dave Roberts on his walk across Texas, and find out how it all started, this week on the award-winning Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Check your local listings.

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

Campstravaganza

Monday, April 3rd, 2017
Guale #2 at Big Bend Ranch State Park

Guale #2 at Big Bend Ranch State Park

This is Passport to Texas

The Texas State Park system has close to 8,000 campsites. In the April issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, father and son—Russell and Luke Roe—highlight the available prime “real estate”.

You know the places: great views, near water, or shaded by an ancient oak; spacious—or, perhaps, secluded.

In the section, the Roes reveal site and shelter numbers of these coveted spots: such as Guale #2 at Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas; this remote site, only accessible by four-wheeler, offers visitors spectacular views of sunsets that will change your life.

Site #65 at Caprock Canyons State Park in the Panhandle, offers solitude, the beauty of the shimmering red-rock Canyonlands, a covered picnic shelter, and a stunning view of Little Red River.

Site #92 at Inks Lake State Park  in the Hill Country is everything you want a camping getaway to be, with the perfect balance of shade, convenience, privacy, scenery and lake access. Boaters can moor their boats at the site, and the sunsets will take your breath away.

The special section of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine has an illustrated Native American story you can tell around the campfire, tips on setting up the perfect campsite, and eight new s’mores recipes!

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.

Birds of Prey at Lake Livingston State Park

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
Joel making friends with a falcon.

Joel making friends with a falcon.

This is Passport to Texas

Birds of prey are apex predators. See them in action at Lake Livingston State Park during a birds of Prey Demo on April first, by the non-profit environmental education organization, EarthQuest.

So, we reached out to them, and said people are asking about birds of prey here at the park. We’ve got a lot of them, and we would love for you to come out, showcase some of the different birds of prey that can be found in this area—as well as some birds you may not find in Texas—so that we can educate our visitors about the importance of these birds of prey and our role in conserving habitat.

Joel Janssen is a park ranger and interpreter.

What makes birds of prey fascinating to not only birders but regular park visitors is that they are true masters of the sky. They have adaptations that make them ideally suited for catching prey, and [during the program] they show off those skills.

The Birds of Prey Program is April 1, with two shows—at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Bring blankets and camp chairs for your comfort, and cameras to capture the action.

Between the two programs, the falconer and his assistant are going to be available. They will hold the birds for the visitors and let them get up close and personal. So, you are more than welcome, and we encourage you to bring your camera out and take photos both during and after the program.

Your $5 park admission gets you into the April 1st Birds of Prey program at Lake Livingston State park. Find complete details at texasstateparks.org.

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

Lake Livingston State Park, A Great Getaway

Monday, March 27th, 2017
A picturesque place to chill at Lake Livingston State Park.

A picturesque place to chill at Lake Livingston State Park.

This is Passport to Texas

City life has its charms, but it’s good to escape the concrete jungle now and then. For Houstonians, Lake Livingston State Park is the perfect getaway.

We’re about an hour north of downtown Houston on US 59. We are here primarily as a water recreation park, although, we do have a lot of trails, and some very beautiful campsites—many of which have just been renovated.

Joel Janssen is a ranger and interpreter there.

Every Saturday, I do several programs for the public. They range from guided hikes, to art programs, primitive fire demonstrations, and even night sky programs—where I take our visitors on a tour of the night sky through mythology. And I wrap up by showing them planets and galaxies and nebula.

Located in the East Texas Pineywoods, Lake Livingston offers visitors wildlife viewing opportunities.

Including deer, raccoons, flying squirrels. We have American mink. And, I just saw a bald eagle here in the park this morning. We have a resident bald eagle population that lives year-round here in the park. So, we’re very good for birders to come up to see the kinds of birds that live in the woods, but also see the shorebirds that are attracted to the lake and to the dam.

Lake Livingston SP hosts a Birds of Prey Program April first. Find details on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, and on tomorrow’s show.

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.

TPW TV – Student Camper

Friday, February 17th, 2017
Palo Duro Canyon, where Lindsay Stroup is a Park Host.

Palo Duro Canyon, where Lindsay Stroup is a Park Host.

This is Passport to Texas

Lindsay Stroup started her college career intent on becoming a nurse. She spent two years completing her prerequisite classes.

And then right before I applied to nursing school I was just like “Nah.”

Instead she decided to study wildlife biology at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. She’d need a place to live, and found the rents in Canyon a bit out of her reach.

I researched the volunteer opportunities, and I came across being a park host. And in the description it said you can keep your camper up there; you get a camp spot while you’re working. And I thought: Hmmm. That’s interesting.

The distance between the park and school was about 10 minutes, so Lindsey applied for and was accepted into the Park Host program at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Everybody thought I was crazy. ’What do you mean you’re going to live in a camper?’ I was real fortunate that my grandparents let me use their camper. Since it’s just me and my dog and my snake, it’s really all the space we need. It’s a great way to go through college.

Park superintendent, Shannon Blalock, is glad to have Lindsay as a volunteer.

Lindsay is not jaded by some of the boundaries of life that some people know because of their experiences. She knows no bounds at this point. So it’s been wonderful for my staff.

See Lindsay ’s path from Campus to Camper the week of February 19th on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS. Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram.

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