Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

TPW Magazine: Dancing with Dinosaurs

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
Mountain Biking at Dinosaur Valley State Park

Mountain Biking at Dinosaur Valley State Park

This is Passport to Texas

Something you learn early on when you take up the sport of mountain biking is this: you’ve got to be brave…you cannot be scared…and you have to tell yourself that you can do it.

In the August/September issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, Kathryn Hunter writes about the Texas Interscholastic Mountain Bike League and the annual Dinosaur Dance race at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose. She follows groups of students and their adult coaches as they prep and compete in this challenging event.

Participants come from as far west as Amarillo and Midland and as far east as Houston and Tyler. Teams include students from grades six through 12 and vary widely in the number of members.

You meet some of the riders, and the learn the reasons why they ride, and ways riding is made possible for kids in historically underserved areas.

Kathryn writes: The race loop at Dinosaur Valley is challenging, with steep switchbacks, large ledges and loose, tennis-ball-sized rock.

It’s a great read and may just inspire you to experience nature on two wheels.

Find the article Dancing with Dinosaurs by Kathryn Hunter in the August/September issue of TPW magazine. On Newsstands now.

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

Archery is a Sport for all Abilities

Friday, June 30th, 2017
Learning how to shoot with a bow.

Learning how to shoot with a bow.

This is Passport to Texas

Participation in archery, helps kids develop various skills.

Because you learn decision-making, and judging distances, and focusing—and tht sort of thing. So, there’s a lot of life skills.

Burnie Kessner is the archery coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. The National Archery in Schools Program introduces students to the sport. What makes this sport and program special is that anyone of any ability can be successful.

Physical limitations are addressed by adaptive devices on the bow and arrow. We do archery at Special Olympics—that audience can do it. And, at the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind [and Visually Impaired] in Austin, they do archery. So, all kinds of challenges can be overcome and still participate in archery.

In fact, Kessner says visually impaired students have successfully competed in state and national school tournaments with everyone else.

They can’t see the bow and arrow they’re holding. They can’t see the target. They just need someone else to assist them and be their eyes and give them verbal cues—and they can shoot just like everybody else.

Interested in bringing the Archery in Schools program to your district? Log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and find out how.

The Wildlife restoration program support our show, and promotes the shooting sports in Texas.

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

The Real Winners of the Birding Classic: Birds

Friday, April 7th, 2017
Bill Baker and Andy Dietrich, accepting the 2015 Statewide Weeklong Tournament winners trophy for the NRG Eco-eagles.

Bill Baker and Andy Dietrich, accepting the 2015 Statewide Weeklong Tournament winners trophy for the NRG Eco-eagles.

This is Passport to Texas

For the past 20 years, the Great Texas Birding Classic has been the world’s biggest, longest, and wildest birdwatching tournament in the U.S.!

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would do it for 20 straight years.

Bill Baker’s been participating in the Classic since the beginning, even though he says his team was an embarrassment their first time out.

Over the years Bill’s team improved—a lot. And the NRG Eco-Eagles won the Week Long tournament 8 times, came in second one year and third another year for total winnings of just over $170K, which went toward avian habitat enhancement.

Texas has such diverse habitats, and such diverse birds. One of our team members lives in Pennsylvania. And the highlight of his year is coming down here, traveling Texas, to get to see the different species of birds that we have throughout the regions of Texas. We are blessed to have such habitat in our great state.

Bill’s passionate about the Classic, and thinks you can be, too.

If you’ve never participated in this event, it will change your life. It’s exciting. It’s fun. You do this with friends. You learn. It contributes to enhancing avian habitat in the great state of Texas.

The Great Texas Birding Classic gets underway April 15. Registration for this year has ended, but keep up with the action at, and start planning for next year.

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

Lionfish Symposium to Host Public Forum

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Lone Star Lionfish Symposium February 15 & 16, 2017, with a public forum on the 15th at Moody Gardens. in Galveston.

Lone Star Lionfish Symposium February 15 & 16, 2017, with a public forum on the 15th at Moody Gardens IMAX Theater in Galveston.

This is Passport to Texas

The second Lone Star Lionfish Symposium convenes later this month in Galveston. In addition to a closed-door session where experts from a variety of disciplines will review a report generated from last year’s gathering, there will also be an opportunity for public participation.

We know the public is interested, and they’re the only people that can help us. We can have all the ideas we want, but if the public’s not with us—doesn’t get our message—then we’ve lost.

Leslie Hartman is Matagorda Bay Program Leader and one of the symposium’s organizers. The public event will be at Moody Gardens Imax.

We usually do about a 20 minute review of the lionfish program so that everybody has that same level of knowledge. And then, all the experts are there, so you get that baseline—which is me—but you get the real experts. And you can ask them any question you want.

Topics reviewed last year included: Priority Areas, Outreach, Research, Policy, Control & Management, Funding, and Markets & Uses. Everyone is welcome to the public event.

Just show up. The event starts at 6 p.m. We will have light hors d’oeuvres, so not only will you be able to feed your mind, you’ll be able to feed your body. Will you be serving lionfish? We are actually discussing that possibility. We make no promises.

The Lone Star Lionfish Symposium is February 15 & 16 in Galveston. The public event is the 15th at Moody Gardens IMAX Theater.

The Sport fish restoration program supports our series.

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

Encouraging Native Bees with Flower Power

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Miss Kitty on the lookout for native bees.

Miss Kitty on the lookout for native bees.

This is Passport to Texas

Fear of being swarmed by bees keeps some of us from adding flowering plants to our landscapes. Although native solitary bees are small in stature, that doesn’t stop us from being nervous when they’re nearby.

You know, folks have concerns about bees flying around in the yard and planting more flowers. The thing is that, even social bees, like honeybees, when they’re away from their nest and they’re foraging on flowers, they have no interest in you.

If you are allergic to bee stings, you may wish to err on the side of caution. Yet, Michael Warriner, non-game and rare species program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife, says for the rest of us, embrace flower power.

If you plant more flowers, you don’t have to worry about these bees attacking you. Unless, you were to directly harass them. Let’s say, by grabbing them…or…something like that. But, otherwise, there’s no danger.

Pollinator populations are in decline because of habitat loss. Flowering plants help furnish food for them.

A robust population of solitary bees helps to ensure a thriving native ecosystem.

If you live in a condo or apartment, you can still help native pollinators by cultivating containers of flowering plants on your patio, balcony, or rooftop.

Find a list of plants for pollinators on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

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