Archive for the 'State Parks' Category

TPW TV: The Illumination

Friday, March 23rd, 2018
The Illumination

The Illumination

This is Passport to Texas

Mission Espiritu Santo de Zuniga, part of Goliad State Park & Historic Site, was established in 1749 by Franciscan priests. Next week the TPW TV Series on PBS takes you there to experience an annual event called “The Illumination”. Assistant Superintendent Jason Ramirez.

In a lot of the Franciscan missions there is a documented event that will usually coincide with a solar event; a lot of the times it’s one of the holy days of the Catholics. In our mission we have something that happens every year on April 16th; we don’t really have an official explanation for it, but basically what happens is the sun will set in the ‘window of the sun’ as we call it, and cast a direct beam of light onto the Crucifix here. It happens every year on April 16th at around 7:00pm. One of the things we do know is that April 16th is an important holy day for Franciscans. It’s the anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan Order, and so it’s a very important day for the Franciscans. It’s a day that they renew their vows and rededicate themselves to the faith. And so we think that this may have been something that the missionaries here planned to convert the native people here, also to celebrate their faith.

Witness “The Illumination” next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

Check your local listings.

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

Spring Break: Photographing Nature

Friday, March 9th, 2018
Breaking out the camera during spring break.

Breaking out the camera during spring break.

This is Passport to Texas

Introduce youngsters to photography this spring break as a fun and affordable way to get them interested in nature and the outdoors.

I believe that all children have a basic connection with the outdoors and I do feel that photography is a good way to develop that bond. It can really enhance that experience altogether.

Texas Parks and Wildlife photographer Chase Fountain says picture taking is a great way for kids to record and enhance their experiences in nature.

Let’s say you’re out and about and you’re on a family vacation… that’s a great way for you to be able to record those memories and take them back with you. With today’s technology and digital cameras only starting at $20, it’s affordable for almost any family to buy cameras for the kids and let them experience nature.

The key to getting kids outside is to find something that makes going outdoors sound like even more fun.

As far as utilizing photography… you know every kid is different and maybe some kids won’t like photography, but for some that might just be the proper tool to get them outdoors.

Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more ideas on getting your kids engaged in the outdoors.

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

Spring Break: Neighborhood Fishin’ Fun

Thursday, March 8th, 2018
Enjoying a day of fishing with the kiddos during Spring Break.

Enjoying a day of fishing with the kiddos during Spring Break.

This is Passport to Texas

If the weather’s good, and even if it isn’t this spring break, gather up the family and take them to Neighborhood Fishin’ ponds for a day of fishing fun.

We think it’s a valuable thing for people to be connected with fishing and the outdoors, and we’d like to facilitate that connection.

Former Texas Parks and Wildlife aquatic education training specialist, Caleb Harris, says the neighborhood fishin’ program is one of many ways the agency facilitates a connection between people and nature.

Every metropolitan center has a neighborhood fihin’ pond. And all those locations are on the [Texas Parks and Wildlife] website.

This time of year, the inland fisheries division begins to stock neighborhood fishin’ ponds with catfish. Wouldn’t your youngsters love to return to school with a fish story to tell? Harris says although spending time with family and friends catching fish is fun, something deeper takes place among those who connect with the outdoors.

When people are connected to the outdoors in a way that they enjoy it – like fishing – they become stewards of it. They want to protect it. Conserve it. Be good users of it.

Find a neighborhood fishin’ pond near you, as well as tackle loaner locations, and information on various fish species, when you log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

This project and our show is funded in part by a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

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

Spring Break: Wilderness Near a Big City

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Government Canyon State Natural Area

Government Canyon State Natural Area

This is Passport to Texas

For a lot of families, Spring Break means going camping. If you live in or near San Antonio you don’t have far to go: Government Canyon State Natural Area is minutes from the bustling urban center of the Alamo City.

We have about forty miles of hiking and biking trails right on the edge of the Hill Country. So, we have some beautiful area that people just love to come out and visit and hike and bike and do nature watching and it’s just kind of an oasis just right
on the outskirts of San Antonio.

Chris Holm is site superintendent. Government Canyon is a special place: it is home to threatened and endangered species like the golden-cheeked warbler, and sits above the recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer. The site offers visitors a wilderness experience close to home.

It’s not too, too rustic, though. I mean, you have access to facilities and there is staff around. And that’s one of the neat things about state parks and state natural areas. You have staff available to assist if you need something — and you’re five or ten minutes from home.

You can reserve one of 23 walk-in tent campsites. Government Canyon also has two group walk-in tent campsites for up to 16 people.

Campgrounds are open Friday and Saturday nights only, but also open for additional nights around holidays; find more information at texasstateparks.org.

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

Spring Break: Family Fun at State Parks

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
Enjoying state parks during spring break.

Enjoying state parks during spring break.

This is Passport to Texas

Spend time with the family outdoors this spring break.

I believe it’s very important for families to spend time outdoors. Especially in the metropolitan areas, (where) people aren’t able to fully experience nature in a natural setting.

Doug Huggins works with state parks in the Houston area, but when we spoke, he worked at Bastrop State park. Parks buffer visitors from the hubbub of city life.

It’s a good place to see nature; to look at the flora and fauna, and get out of the city and feel like you’re away from it all… and you can leave all the hustle, bustle and business behind, and slow down for a little while to think about what’s going on right here right now.

Spring break can be sunny and warm or cold and wet; whatever the weather you can enjoy the Texas outdoors. If an overnight stay is in your future, and the weather warrants, consider cabins—like those at Bastrop State Park.

They’re nice and cozy. They also have heaters and they have fire rings outside so you can have fires and roast marshmallows and make s’mores. It’s a great place to spend time with the family; and in the winter time we still have some people that come out who take advantage of the bluebird days when it’s mild and the sun is out, to look at what winter residents we have at the park.

Find a link to state park information and reservations at texasstateparks.org.

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