Archive for the 'Camping' Category

Finding Your Resolve for 2018

Monday, December 25th, 2017
Family hike at Inks Lake State Park.

Family hike at Inks Lake State Park.

This is Passport to Texas Resolutions Week

As we approach the New Year we consider ways to improve our lives in the 12 months ahead.

More time outdoors often ranks near the top of everyone’s list. Thirty minutes a day outdoors for adults, and an hour for children, improves overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Consider a daily walk ‘round your neighborhood, or explore your own backyard. Discover what critters make their homes there. Create a game of counting the species you see. Do this every day to see if something new has arrived. Keep a list and compare the seasons.

Perhaps this New Year you’ll become a citizen scientist. Texas Nature Tracker Programs can help. Sign up for Nature Trackers, choose from the rare species they’re tracking, and share your observations on iNaturalist. Biologists use your data to broaden their knowledge, and improve the support they provide these species.

Perhaps this is the year you volunteer with one of the friends groups at a nearby Texas state park, or become a master naturalist, or even a certified Texas Wasters Specialist.

The New Year holds so much promise for you, your family, friends and community. Enrich your life when you spend time in nature solo or with others, because Life’s Better Outside.

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.


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.

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.

Partner with Texas Outdoor Families

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Texas Outdoor Family Workshop.

Texas Outdoor Family Workshop at Inks Lake State Park

This is Passport to Texas

Being popular is a good problem to have for the Texas Outdoor Families program. It means lots of people want to learn how to engage the outdoors. To accommodate as many families as possible, program director, Robert Owen says Texas Outdoor Families is recruiting and training nonprofit community partners to facilitate the weekend campouts.

13 — We’re setting up these partners to run an event with some ranger guidance in the beginning, and then turning them loose after we feel confident in their abilities to have a safe, low, impact and fun time in a state park.

After a successful 3-year pilot program in Houston, Owen says they’re expanding to Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.

14—We’re looking to grow by quite a few partners. In order for folks to get on board, would encourage them to give me a call to talk over the program and the opportunities and just hear where this organization is coming from—to see how our goals overlap.

Owens says the program needs at least 10 nonprofit community partners in each region.

24— We hope that organizations see the return in time spent outside. Some recent research has suggested that youth benefit from time spent outside through unstructured play, but also through the opportunity to make their own decisions and find themselves in a challenging environment. And camping does provide that. It’s very much a growth experience.

Find Robert Owen’s contact information and details about the program at

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

Texas Outdoor Family Reboot

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
How to put up a tent.

Robert Owen demonstrates putting up a tent at a Texas Outdoor Family Weekend Workshop.

This is Passport to Texas

The Texas Outdoor Family program from Texas Parks and Wildlife introduces families to the outdoors. Program coordinator, Robert Owen, says the program is entering a new phase, casting a wider net to encourage overnight park use by diverse audiences.

12 — We noticed that state park visitation did not represent the diversity of Texas, and we wanted to see that change. So, we Started to partner with community organizations that represent under-served audiences.

Using grant money, they created a 3-year pilot program in Houston, and worked with partner non-profit organizations that shared the goals of getting folks outdoors to enjoy healthier, happier lifestyles.

08—Houston is a wonderful melting pot. It represents cultures from all over the world, and a great diversity of Texas.

Owen and staff trained their partners how to facilitate an outdoor family experience.

12— We’re not just going to ask people to get out into the field and lead a workshop for a hundred people with no training. Instead, we like to set folks up for success with our master outdoor leadership training.

Robert Owen says, Texas Outdoor Family is now expanding the program to include DFW, Austin and San Antonio, and is looking for a few good partners.

12— We’re growing in those new markets. So, we are looking for those non-profit organizations that serve an audience that’s 50% free or reduced lunch. Or, a recipient of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Co-op grant program.

Find contact information at

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