Archive for the 'Shows' Category

Here Comes the Sun

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Running the board for a station that runs by the sun. [Image Courtesy of Sun Radio]

Running the board for a station that runs on sun. [Image Courtesy of Sun Radio]

This is Passport to Texas

We all know that plants, wildlife and humans depend on energy from the sun to survive. TPWD even installed 25 solar photovoltaic systems at 17 of its own facilities.

But have you ever known a radio station run by the sun?

From the time the voice leaves the microphone until it gets to your listening device, it’s solar powered.

Sure, sure…this is off topic for our show, but—c’mon—to partner with nature to make radio is super cool. Daryl O’Neal is the executive director of Sun Radio, the first and largest non-commercial radio network powered by the sun.

We started looking around the landscape and noticed that all these small little non-commercial radio stations were off the air. We started trying to figure out okay well what if we could put them back on the air. Would it be a mission in doing that, bringing community radio back and what if we could also do it and be solar powered.

They are doing it: sending their signal to eleven different stations in Central Texas… but it’s not easy.

The real challenge we had is making sure that the solar power is consistent, because our equipment is very delicate. So, we had to put a lot of electric conditioning equipment in to make sure that DC feed that’s coming in is consistent. If you add up all of the kilowatts, it’s probably close to 75 to 80 thousand watts. Enough power on the ground to power the equipment in the air to send a signal out.

A signal that spreads like sunshine across Central Texas.

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

Renewable Energy at TPWD

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
It's getting easier to be green...

It’s getting easier to be green…

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife has been investigating renewable energy purchase options.

Through the State Energy Conservation Office there’s a group pulling together government entities to do a bulk purchase of renewable energy.

Andee Chamberlain is the Sustainability Program Manager at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

It’s really amazing our energy market in Texas, with all of the wind that is being produced, has really brought the renewable cost down. In the last contract that we negotiated, we looked at the cost of traditional energy vs renewable energy and the cost difference; about one percent. So it was negligible for us to choose renewable energy because it meets our mission.

The mission to “manage and conserve the resources of Texas for present and future generations” lends itself well to investment in renewable energy.

It makes a lot of sense for us to do that. All of the energy that we buy on the deregulated side is renewable; so that half of our sites are provided 100% renewable energy.

The bulk energy purchase contract will have a term of between ten and fifteen years.

That helps us not only support renewable energy but that helps us lock in a rate. And that’s really nice for parks to budget. Consistency is really important when your planning a park.

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

Why Parks Benefit People

Thursday, December 5th, 2019
Walt Dabney takes a stroll on his mountain bike.

Walt Dabney takes a stroll on his mountain bike.

This is passport to Texas

From 1999 until his retirement in 2010, Walt Dabney served as Texas State Park Director, leaving behind an improved state park system that observers say ranks among the nation’s best and most innovative.

Walt lives in Moab Utah now, but visited Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently. He told me that he will forever have a soft spot for the parks and people he left behind.

As to why we need parks, Walt says they’re places where we can protect our natural resources, while at the same time benefitting the well-being of the citizens of Texas.

Well, people want to recreate. I mean they want places to go be outside, to enjoy a variety of different activities. Whether it’s fishing or camping or hiking or biking or boating of some kind. In a place like Texas, other than the parks, if you don’t own a ranch, or have access to one you have no place to go do any of that. And I think a lot of those people understand that there’s more to life that just sitting int eh house or walking down the sidewalk. So parks provide a place for people to go do those fun kind of outdoor things which are good for them both mentally as well as physically.

Texas state parks are for everyone. Find a park near you when you visit

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

Gifts for the Conservation Minded

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Give a gift of the outdoors. [Big Bend Ranch State Park]

This is Passport to Texas

Holiday gift giving season is upon us, and if you have nature lovers on your list—the giving is easy—and twice as nice.

A seventy-dollar Texas State Parks Pass is a thoughtful gift for your outdoor enthusiast. Pass holders enjoy twelve months of unlimited visits to more than ninety state parks and historic sites. They also get discounts on camping and recreational equipment rentals. Money spent on the pass supports your Texas state parks.

For thirty dollars each, you can give the drivers on your list a conservation license plate. Twenty-two dollars from every sale goes directly to help fund conservation efforts in Texas.

Give every outdoor lover on your list access to more than a million acres of public land—with the Limited Use Permit—for the ridiculously reasonable price of twelve dollars.

Permit holders receive twelve months of access to Texas’ wildlife management areas, where they can fish, hike, bird watch, cycle, and camp.

When you give one of these gifts, you delight the receiver, and help support state parks and conservation in Texas.

Of course, you can always give the gift of yourself to those you love by spending time with them outdoors, away from the hustle and bustle of modern living—if only for a few hours.

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

Holiday Fun Awaits You in State Parks

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019
Barrington Farm Christmas

Barrington Farm Christmas

This is Passport to Texas

The holiday season is a special time to visit your state parks. Parks throughout Texas offer festive activities that could cause even old Scrooge, himself, to crack a smile.

During the entire month of December enjoy History in Lights with a beautiful evening stroll through the grounds of Mission Espiritu Santo at Goliad State Park and Historic Site. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. each night.

On December 7th Celebrate Christmas at Mr. Buck’s historic ranch home at South Llano River SP in Junction, and decorate trees, take pictures with Santa, and sing Christmas tunes on the front porch, and more!

On December 13th it’s a Pineywoods Christmas Drive-thru at Tyler State Park. Drive through the Cedar Point, Lakeview and Big Pine Camping Loops; enjoy a Pineywoods Christmas in lights. Campers staying at the park for this event are encouraged to decorate their sites.

On December 15th, head to Johnson City and join the Texas Hill Country community for the 50th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at LBJ State park and Historic site, started by President and Mrs. Johnson. Enjoy carolers, a live nativity, Santa Claus, refreshments, and of course, the spectacular tree lighting.

Check out the calendar section of the Texas parks and wildlife website for more holiday events at state parks.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti