Archive for the 'Picnics' Category

Celebrate Mom’s Day with a Picnic in a Park

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

pack a picnic and head to a Texas State park for Mother’s Day.

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.

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 that 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 TPW website.

Our show receives support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

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

New Park Reservation System: Save the Day

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Visitors to Enchanted Rock SP, relaxing because they “saved the Day”.

This is Passport to Texas

Ditch the “will I or won’t I get in” guessing game that often comes with visiting Texas’ most popular state parks. Now parkgoers can “Save the Day”. Thomas Wilhelm is the marketing and branding manager for Texas State parks.

[Thomas] So, what we’re calling “save the day” is essentially paying your entrance fees in advance. And by doing so, you’re guaranteeing access to a park. We have some parks that are super popular in that they fill up and we have to turn people away because of the limitation of the number of people allowed in a park. So with the Save the Day pass, you essentially pick a time slot that you are going to arrive at the park, pre-pay your entrance, and you’re guaranteed access to the park. So, you don’t have to worry about showing up and being turned away because the park is full.

[Cecilia] Well, you know, you might get there, but you might be behind a line of cars. Will there be another entrance for these people who have their pass?

[Thomas] We’ll have to work through those. Depending on the site, we may be able to create dual entrance lines. There will be a learning curve for both our employees and our customers. But, I think, in the long term, it will really speed up the process. Not just for guaranteed access, but also for getting you into the park faster and onto the fun.

Make your reservations on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Tomorrow: Buying and managing your Texas State Park Pass online.

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

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.

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.

Government Canyon: The Nearby Wilderness

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
Government Canyon

One of the many wild spaces at Government Canyon State Natural Area.

This is Passport to Texas

Comprised of more than 12-thousand acres of mostly undeveloped land, Government Canyon State Natural Area, outside of San Antonio, is not a state park.

Although we’re part of the Texas State Park system—we’re actually a natural area. So, our focus is primarily natural and cultural resource management. However, we do provide recreational opportunities here. We have about 40 miles of hiking and biking trails.

Superintendent Chris Holm says guests experience something entirely unique when they visit the site.

It is a unique experience, as we’re so close to the city of San Antonio. But yet, when you get out here and start hiking or biking into what we call the backcountry area, you think you’re out in the great wilderness of the North or something.

Open for visitation Friday through Monday only, Government Canyon frequently reaches maximum site occupancy on weekends.

Almost every weekend we’ll have a capacity closure because we get too many people coming out. We want people to experience Government Canyon. We want them to develop a love of the place. Stewardship. But at the same time we don’t want it to be destroyed [from overuse]. And, so, there’s a balancing act.

Tuesdays through Thursdays, site staff focus on resource management. There’s more info on Government Canyon at texasstateparks.org.

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