TPW TV — Finding the Story

October 13th, 2017
TPWD TV Series producer, Don Cash.

TPWD TV Series producer, Don Cash.

This is Passport to Texas

Get ready for the 32nd season of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS.

We start our new season the week of October 15th, and [we’ve] got some new stuff this year.

If you’ve never seen the show, or aren’t sure you’ll like it, series producer, Don Cash, offers this reassurance.

We like to call it a magazine format. We don’t just do one topic in a half hour show. We usually do three…or four…or five segments of different things in a show. So, if the first segment’s not that interesting to you, maybe the next four will be.

It is a show about people like you who love the outdoors.

We find stories by going out in the field and working on other stories. You go out, you meet somebody, they say: Oh, you should meet so-and-so; they’ve got this thing going. And by going out in the field and going to the parks and going different places – that’s how we find the stories. Now, sometimes, they come our way. Sometimes people let us know. But for the most part, we just find them when we’re out there traveling the state.

Such as when they discovered a woman in remote West Texas who creates habitat for birds.

I mean, you’ve got to be a special person to live by yourself out in West Texas, up in the back of a canyon, and do all this work on your own – and the welcome people to come in – and look at the birds that come into your place. So, that’s the thing that I enjoy about doing this.

We think you’ll enjoy it, too. The new season of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS begins the week of October 15.

Check your local listings.

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

TPW TV — New Season 2017-1018

October 12th, 2017
The new season of TPW Television starts the week of October 15, 2017

The new season of TPW Television starts the week of October 15, 2017

 

This is Passport to Texas

The new season of Texas Parks and Wildlife Television kicks off October 15th, marking 32 years on the air.

Yeah, it’s like older than one of the guys that works on the show, actually…

Even so, they keep it fresh. Series producer, Don Cash, says the program is not a hunting and fishing show.

We find interesting and unique people all across Texas who are into nature, who are into the outdoor, who are into wildlife – and we tell their stories.

Thirty-two years later, producers tell more stories thanks to new technology. Consider the upcoming segment about a university student who walked the 100 mile Lone Star Hiking Trail.

One of our producers took still cameras – you know, DSLRs – and was able to do a good portion of a hundred mile hike. So, it’s cool that we have the technology and the smaller cameras that allow you to go do things like a hike – of 100 miles – that maybe you couldn’t do back in the day when you had to carry a 35 pound camera.

Cash says he hopes stories like the 100 mile hike inspire people to experience the great Texas outdoors.

A lot of people are new to the state –a lot of people have been here a long time – and don’t really know what all we’ve got. And that’s what the show does. We show you all this cool stuff that you can do in the outdoors, and hopefully, maybe you’ll go out there and discover it for yourself.

Discover the new season of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series the week of October 15. Check your local listings.

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

Become a Texas Waters Specialist

October 11th, 2017
Learning about Texas water.

Learning about Texas water.

This is Passport to Texas

Water is a precious resource, and a new Texas Parks and Wildlife program helps citizens to become certified Texas Waters Specialists.

It comes down to appreciation for the natural world – to realize that everything’s connected. From humans to wildlife; we all need water to survive.

Colin Findley, an AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer, oversees the program, which covers ecosystems to water law.

There’s a curriculum, and also there’s webinars. It’s really just a matter of going to the Texas Parks [and Wildlife] website: tpwd.texas.gov. Search for Texas Water Specialist, and it will take you to that page.

Anyone may register for the course.

There are specific requirements for Texas Master Naturalist, so if you are a Master Naturalist, you go through the representative for Texas Waters for your program to log those hours. But if you’re from the general public, it’s completely free. It takes eight hours of different program requirements to get your certification. To renew it – it’s all about community service. You have to do ten hours of water related community service each year.

Many volunteer opportunities exist for certified waters specialists.

Texas Stream Team. Texas Parks and Wildlife has different volunteer opportunities in terms of water quality, habitat conservation, restoration and management, freshwater inflows. And then, you know, there’s a lot of different coastal restoration projects as well.

Find information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Texas Aquatic Science Program

October 10th, 2017
Texas Aquatic Science

The Texas Aquatic Science teaches educators how to present the topic to their students.

This is Passport to Texas

The Texas Aquatic Science curriculum covers a lot of ground, I mean, water. AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer, Colin Findley, coordinates the program for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

It’s getting people access to the outside world, and understanding the outside world in terms of water.

The program helps middle and high school teachers raise students’ awareness of the importance of water to life, aquatic ecosystems, and the effort necessary to conserve it all.

With Texas aquatic science, there’s the classroom capacity, and then there’s also what are called Texas Aquatic Science Certified field sites, which are state parks and other organizations that have access to water tied to the curriculum. So, you know, once an educator teaches the curriculum in the classroom, they can then go out and get full support from these aquatic science field sites.

Findley says Texas Aquatic Science is a full curriculum.

From sixth grade all the way up to twelfth. It’s TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) aligned. The greatest thing is that it’s completely free. So, the student textbooks online at texasaquaticscience.org, the teacher guides on the Texas Parks (and Wildlife) education page – it’s all there for any educator to have.

The program starts by identifying communities of greatest need, and then cultivates a core of facilitators.

That then teach workshops to spread the curriculum to educators throughout the state.

Find more information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Halloween in State Parks

October 9th, 2017
Tossing a “ghost” through a ring is just one of the kid-friendly activities offered in the fright-free area at Halloween at the Hatchery.

Tossing a “ghost” through a ring is just one of the kid-friendly activities offered in the fright-free area at Halloween at the Hatchery.

This is Passport to Texas

Get into the spirit of Halloween at a Texas state park.

Plan an overnight stay at a nearby park with family and friends. When night falls, build a campfire, huddle ‘round, and share scary stories while the fire pops and crackles.

Campfire s’more take on a whole new look at Halloween with ghost shaped marshmallow peeps! Toast your ghost over the flames and then squish it between graham crackers and chocolate. Now who’s scary?

Invite wildlife to your party; it’s easy when you use animal call apps on your smart phone. A raptor that’s usually spying on you anyway, is the screech owl. If you play its call and wait, chances are it will join you.

You don’t have to set up camp to enjoy Halloween in parks. Just come for a few hours. Some parks will have activities including Edible Creepy Crawlies, to Bat Themed crafts, to Trick-or-Treating in the park, to Zombie Apocalypse Hikes and more.

At Cleburne State Park, visitors 13 and older who wish to partake in trick or treating, the guided night hike, or the night sounds presentation, will have their entrance fee waived when they bring a can of food for the food bank.

Find parks, dates, and complete details on Halloween hijinks in State Parks at texasstateparks.org.

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.