Archive for June, 2011

State Parks: Golfing

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Some describe the game of golf as a “good walk spoiled.” But if you tee off in a state park, how bad could it really be? Our State park guide, Bryan Frazier says—not bad at all.

51—Golfing continues to be one of the more popular recreational activities and sports in the Unites States. And to have those options in our state parks system, what you’re doing is combining the best that people enjoy. And that is: beautiful scenery, and great outdoor recreation—and golf. And that’s golf carts, pro shops.

One is an 18 hole golf course that we have, at Bastrop State Park in Central Texas, and the other is a nine-hole golf course at Lockhart State Park, also in Central Texas. Very affordable green fees and cart rental. You can check it out online at But there’s just something about being in those big lost pines at Bastrop SP.

Or out in those rolling post oaks there in Lockhart SP. The golf is just better. It combines recreation that people are interested in anyway, in an environment that people love.

Thanks, Bryan.

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet…building dependable, reliable trucks for more than 90 years.

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

Texas Camel Corps

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Traveling overland in the punishing climate of the desert southwest during the mid-nineteenth century took its toll on the US Army.

12—Following the Mexican-American War, political and military minds had seen the lack of water on the western frontier. They were truly losing soldier, horses and mules because of dehydration.

Doug Baum, is owner/operator of the Texas Camel Corps, a business that offers camel treks through Monahans Sandhills SP and Big bend SP, under conditions similar to what the original camel corps experienced.

10—As early as we were fighting at the Alamo…this idea was proposed. And it would be twenty years, before camels were actually purchased and unloaded on the coast of Texas.

On May 13, 1856, the first group of camels arrived from Tunisia at the Port of Indianola in Lavaca County. After some training, the army caravanned the animals to their permanent home at Camp Verde, between San Antonio and Kerrville.

03—They arrived in 1856 and promptly went to work.

Camels’ ability to go long distances without water, and in sweltering Texas heat, allowed the army to successfully explore the Big bend Region.

The Corps operated until the end of the Civil War, when it was disbanded and the camels sold to private citizens and the circus.

That’s our show…for Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Caving in Texas

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Longtime caver, Rae Nadler-Olenick, stopped by our office recently to offer advice to beginning cavers.

08—The first step is to find some other cavers, because cavers are very helpful and generous in getting new cavers started.

Always go caving with a buddy, wear a hardhat, and bring three sources of light. Don’t forget water and snacks. Oh, and dress appropriately.

23—I would recommend the layered approach. There are various kinds of silks and different kinds of underwear, and just all different things. I dress in layers. If I expect to be cold, I might use a thermal undershirt, and then stack some t-shirts, a flannel shirt, a sweatshirt. As far as the layers are concerned, I like to wear things that can be easily tied around the waste.

Caving is a physically and mentally demanding sport; you have to think on your feet even when you’re crawling on your belly.

18—A lot of people in the Austin area get introduced to caving through Airman’s cave, which is an uncomfortable stoop walk much of the distance. And you’re always hearing of people getting stuck in that cave for awhile, but you don’t hear of anyone getting hurt of killed in it.

Find caving information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Artificial Reefs

Monday, June 27th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

An artificial reef is marine habitat created by man and placed on the ocean bottom for the benefit of marine life.

12—Nature has a way of providing its own habitat, but in the case of the Gulf of Mexico – offshore Texas – most of the substrate is soft, murky, muddy, and there’s very little hard substrate out there.

Dale Shively coordinates the artificial reef program for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says that hard substrate is necessary for the development of reefs. What’s fascinating is that once they deploy the substrate material, within days marine life begins attaching to it.

10—In a very short period of time, the substrate is covered with barnacles and sponges and some types of coral. And that begins the basis of the food web as we know it.

Without artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, the waters wouldn’t be nearly as productive and vital as they are.

All kinds of items end up on the bottom of the gulf as artificial reefs: from oil rigs to concrete rubble to decommissioned battleships.

But what does any of this mean to the average Texan? Why should we care about this effort to create artificial reefs?

13—The importance of the reef program is, number one: preserve and enhance the marine environment. And by doing that, we also create fishing and diving opportunities for not only Texans, but also citizens throughout the US.

That’s our show for today…we receive support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program… funded by your purchase of fishing equipment and motor boat fuels.

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

Getting Wet in West Texas

Friday, June 24th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

What’s a West Texas family supposed to do when it gets really hot and they want to go swimming, but they don’t own a pool? Our State park guide, Bryan Frazier has the answer.

68—Summertime in Texas is swimming time. And in West Texas, the water is few and far between, but our swimming pools that we have in State Parks are great in West Texas. And two immediately come to mind, and one is Abilene State Park, and you can ask just about anyone who’s been going to Abilene State Park since the 30s, and they’ll talk about the wonderful CCC built swimming pool, and how cool the water is, and how nice it is; the big stone masonry that makes that pool great. And there’s no separate fee for the pool use in Abilene; it comes with your entrance fee which is $4 per person for people ages 13 and older. And if you’re a kid 12 and younger—there’s no cost. The other one I want to mention in West Texas is Balmorhea State Park. There is no place in the world like Balmorhea State Park. Not only build by the CCC in the 30s, it’s the world’s largest natural swimming pool, with 22-million gallons of fresh water going through there. You’ve got rare catfish in there, an old fashioned high dive—its 25 feet deep—72 degrees year-round. It’s good for swimming, scuba diving, you name it. So, West Texas—it’s warm—but there’s lots of water out there, so get out there an enjoy it.

Thanks, Bryan.

That’s our show for today…with funding provided by Chevrolet…building dependable, reliable trucks for more than 90 years.

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