Archive for the 'State Parks' Category

Get Dad Outdoors on Fathers Day

Friday, June 8th, 2018

A dad and his son jetty fishing at sunrise.

This is Passport to Texas

My father was not what you’d call an outdoorsy guy, but I do have some outdoor memories of him.

I remember Dad took us kids to the nearby forest preserve and taught us how to ride bikes. We had room to wobble and wipe out on the trails until we became proficient thanks to his encouragement. And once we could stay upright, he’d find a shady place to sit; he wore a big smile as he watched us zip around with abandon.

Or in summer when my mom had to work late, dad would have us kids pack up some food while he put a couple of bikes in the back of the station wagon. He’d take us to our local state park for an evening picnic that always ended with us chasing lightening bugs at dusk.

These are small moments with my father that I cherish. My dad’s gone now, but if yours is still with you, perhaps this Father’s Day—June 17—you can share the magic of the outdoors with him.

Take your dad to a Texas state park for a picnic, or a day of biking, hiking or paddling. Maybe you can do an overnight campout, or just hang out on the bank of a lake with a line in the water, and enjoy one another’s company. If you are a dad—spend time with the kiddos outside.

The great Texas outdoors and father’s day equal sweet memories.

That’s our show…. brought to you in part by Ram trucks: built to serve.

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

This Volunteer Helps Nature Rock Texas

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Walter Stankiewicz and the kiddos. Image: Texas Children in Nature

This is Passport to Texas

After graduating from college and working in government, Walter Stankiewicz wanted a change.

I have a degree in international business, with lots of experience regarding government and outdoor work. So, I figured: what can I do to combine those elements.

This Pennsylvania native landed in Austin, where he serves as an Americorps Vista Volunteer for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He works with the Texas Children in Nature Program, and Nature Rocks Texas.

Nature rocks Texas is a program that’s is a way to target, communicate with and engage our audiences. Mostly children, and the children’s parent, of course. The goal of Nature Rocks Texas is to highlight green space and nature and activities at nature themed places, and nature themed events.

These programs remove barriers to equitable access to nature for children and families. Access to the outdoors, says Walter, benefits everyone, especially children.

Because it makes children happier, healthier and smarter. Of course, there’s more meat to it than that. A book came out about 15 years ago called Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louve. He identified and defined this term: nature deficit disorder, meaning especially children who are not engaged in nature are losing a vital element of both formal and informal education, and also they’re losing a part of growing up that renders a very healthy, optimistic and happier mindset for the rest of your life. That’s the essence of why we’re doing this.

That’s our show…. brought to you in part by Ram trucks: built to serve.

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

Pack a Picnic on Mother’s Day and Head to a Park

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Angela Shelf Medearis serving a picnic lunch to her family. Photograph by Penny De Los Santos.

This is Passport to Texas

This Mother’s Day, take mom on a picnic in a Texas state park. Cookbook author, Angela Shelf Medearis, says the key to a stress-free picnic is planning and simplicity.

You don’t have to worry about having to do everything that day. That takes all the fun out of the picnic to me if you’re trying to do all the food prep, and pack everything, and get everybody to the park. So, start your picnic a few days ahead. If I was doing a picnic, I would have something like a really good roast chicken; just cut the pieces up and pack those in there. I do a Carolina Cole Slaw; you toss it up, throw it in the refrigerator – it gets better day-by-day. So, if you want to do that ahead you could. Use a lot of fresh fruits for dessert. The thing about a picnic that I love is you can totally unplug and really focus on the people you should be paying the most attention to. You can get out in nature; we have some beautiful parks. Some beautiful places to go in Texas. And, it gives you a chance to really focus on the most important things: your family, nature, the beauty of life… So, do a little planning ahead, and pick dishes that will be fine hot or cold, and you can’t go wrong for a great picnic.

Find recipes for your picnic on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show…. brought to you in part by Ram trucks: built to serve.

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

TPW Magazine – New Look at an Old Canyon

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Texas, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, hikers Bary Nusz and Russell Roe in cave in Burnt Draw

This is Passport to Texas

Inside the pages of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine you’ll find stories and photographs to entertain, inspire and leave you awe-struck.
That’s certainly the case for the April 2018 issue, on newsstands now.

In a feature article called Undiscovered Palo Duro, writer and adventurer, Russell Roe, takes readers along as he and a group of friends—lead by a guide—explore the park’s lesser- known side features.

He writes: most people who visit Palo Duro Canyon State Park take in the big views, pitch a tent, watch the musical Texas and head down the trail leading to the Lighthouse, the park’s signature formation. Roe says he’s done all of those things, too.

Yet, he adds: for those who are willing to further explore the park, they will find that it contains slot canyons, box canyons, caves, big boulders, hoodoos, scenic mesa tops, giant junipers and other natural and cultural wonders.

Being in good physical condition is not a prerequisite for discovering those wonders, but it sure does help. You’ll need to hike and climb to fully appreciate some of these features.

And Russell Roe say it is worth every bruise, scratch and sore muscle. The April issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazines on Newsstands now.

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.

Spend Every First Friday at a Texas State Park

Monday, April 2nd, 2018
Seminole Canyon State Park

Seminole Canyon State Park

This is Passport to Texas

On Friday, April 6th, get out to one of your state parks.

The first Friday of every month join park staff at Palmetto State Park from 9 to noon for First Friday Birding. Everyone from first time fledglings to seasoned eagle eyes, are welcome.

Are you closer to Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site? Then consider taking part one of two guided hikes—one at 10am and then again at 3pm—and head down into the canyon to view ancient pictographs at Fate Bell shelter. Fresh air and ancient art—what could be better?

You West Texas folks might want to mosey to Davis Mountains State Park for Snakes of the Big Bend! It’s from 5 – 6 p.m. Go to the Interpretive Center to learn from an expert and see live, non-venomous, snakes from the Big Bend! It’s sort of like a snake happy hour.

There are so many stories found in the night sky. Hear some of them at Stories under the Stars at Atlanta State Park. Listen as a park ranger points out constellations and shares ancient stories of the stars and more…Arrive no later than 9 p.m. for the fun.

Find complete details about these and other park events at

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