Archive for the 'TPW Mag' Category

TPW Magazine — Nature Play

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
Children with dip  nets in woods at outdoor family workshop in Georgetown near Austin. Image from Texas Children in Nature

Children with dip nets in woods at outdoor family workshop in Georgetown near Austin. Image from Texas Children in Nature

This is Passport to Texas

While all play benefits children, experts agree that nature play is best. Yet, we’ve seen kids disconnect from it.

And that disconnect has resulted in a myriad of different health issues, wellness issues – and then even [affects] becoming the next stewards to take care of our natural spaces and wild things.

Jennifer Bristol coordinates the Children in Nature program. The concept of nature play isn’t new, but the collaboration to ensure children have access to it via a “playground” experience is.

Landscape architects, the childhood development people, and the playground designers all came together and said: ‘Okay, let’s create this space where children can interact with nature, but on a much smaller scale.’

Bristol said studies showed parents like playgrounds because they exist within defined boundaries, and parents can keep an eye on their kids.

Looking at that concept, the playground designer said, ‘Okay, let’s validate what the parents are feeling and that they need, but let’s make the elements that they’re playing with out of natural materials. Or, replicate things that they would find in nature, and use those to help them grow, develop their gross motor skills, problem solve, and then all the other elements when children actually are being active and playing in the outdoors.’

Jennifer Bristol wrote an article about the growth of Nature Play in Texas for the July issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

The NatureRocksTexas.org website lists all the parks, nature centers and activities where you can play, explore and connect with nature near you.

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

Middle of Nowhere and Everywhere

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
Grand Prairie Paddling Trail

Photo: City of Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation Department

This is Passport to Texas

Photo-journalist Camille Wheeler discovered five urban jungles teaming with wildlife when she kayaked along their paddling trails.

I had this romantic notion that I was going to do all five of these trails by myself. I actually did do two of them by myself. [But] I actually wound up having the best time on the three trails that I did with groups.

She kayaked and in Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, San Antonio and Pasadena…and wrote about it for the March issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

I felt like an explorer even in the middle of a group. I went out with the assurance that these paddling trails had been mapped and surveyed by a Texas Parks and Wildlife team. But, there was this sense of adventure traveling these waterways that were new to me.

Camille saw birds, fish, insects, and even alligators—all in the middle of densely populated urban areas. She says urban paddling trails offer close-in outdoor opportunities.

People like me can get our feet wet here in these urban areas, on these trails that are very safe and easy. And now that I have had a little bit of experience, and some very good guidance—my heart is beating fast at the thought of going back to these same trails that I’ve already traveled, and then going out a little bit farther and a little bit more into the country. And rekindling this love affair with water that is new for a middle-aged woman.

You’re never too old to experience something new. Read Camille Wheeler’s article, Gently Down the Stream, in the March issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

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

TPW Magazine – Gently Down the Stream

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
Paddling in  Texas

Paddling in Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Photo-journalist, Camille Wheeler, grew up in a farming and ranching family in West Texas, and remains a country girl at heart, despite living in the Capital City since the mid-1990s.

I didn’t grow up around very much water. So, while I was a country girl, I’ve always had a fascination with rivers and streams.

Given her fascination for flowing water, she wondered why she’d never explored Austin’s Lady Bird Lake.

So, about a year ago [in January], I went out—really for the first time by myself—on a kayak, on Lady Bird Lake. And the lake was just filled with all these wintering birds. And the double crested cormorant is one of my favorite birds in the world. There were so many of them, and I could paddle up close to them and take pictures. And I was like: Why have I not been doing this?

She discovered Lady Bird Lake is in Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Paddling Trails Program, which gave her an idea for an article. She shared the idea with TPW magazine’s editor, and the agency’s nature tourism manager.

We came up with this idea of me traveling around the state as a beginner [paddler] who has medium knowledge of birds, and putting the two things together for readers.

Read about it in the March issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. On tomorrow’s show: how Camille Wheeler found the middle of nowhere in the middle of everywhere on an urban paddling trail.

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.

Celebrating 75 Years of Stories of the Outdoors

Monday, January 9th, 2017
Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine Celebrates 75 Years if Bringing the Texas Outdoors to you.

TPW Magazine celebrates 75 years if bringing the Texas outdoors to you.

This is Passport to Texas

When it went to press 75 years ago, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine had a different name.

It started out as Texas Game and Fish, and then when the agency changed, the name of the magazine changed as well to reflect the addition of more state park content.

For the past 10 years, Louie Bond has been the editor of this outdoor magazine of Texas.

We’re so lucky to be at the helm of this magazine. Here we just walk in, and we’re just the current custodians. But it feels great to be part of such a longstanding, excellent tradition.

Originally, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine was more of a hook and bullet publication.

We were more traditionally hunting and fishing at the beginning, and now have added in through the years: hiking and biking and visiting state parks…bird watching and photography, and all those wonderful pursuits that our readers have.

Louie says the magazine experienced “pop culture” shifts over the years as well, such as not publishing recipes for certain critters.

Um, perhaps large rats, and things like that. Back in the day, people cooked whatever game was in their yard. You can think of those folks as locavores as we have locavores today.

The magazine celebrates its 75th anniversary all year long, and we tell you how they plan to do that tomorrow.

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 Magazine: Venom Lab

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016
Snake venom extraction.

Extracting venom at the John C. Perez Serpentarium at Texas A&M- Kingsville, TX

This is Passport to Texas

Venomous snakes demand our respect — not because they can hurt us — but because they can help us.

Venom from snakes is used to treat heart attacks, treat strokes. It has paralyzing properties, so it’s used to prevent the metastasizing of tumors….

Reeve Hamilton, wrote about the National Natural Toxins Research Center in Kingsville, part of the Texas A & M system –which studies uses for venom – for the April issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

There’s really a variety of health issues that the venom in snakes is actually used for once researchers at the Natural Toxins Research Center and other places can isolate the properties and put them to use in medicine.

The center is the only federally funded facility of its kind, and Hamilton says its Serpentarium is home to 450 venomous snakes from around the world. Researchers are attempting to develop a universal anti-venom.

Right now, anti-venom is snake specific. So, for people who are in far flung areas, where snake bites are a bigger concern than they are here; if you can’t access the right anti-venom, then you’re going to be in serious trouble. So, they’re trying to come up with an anti-venom that can be administered by anyone, and used in response to any snake, which would really – I think – be a really big discovery.

Read more in Reeve Hamilton’s article in the April issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti