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.

Diversity in the Workplace Supports the Work

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Diversity in the TPWD workforce helps support nature’s diversity.

This is Passport to Texas

For David Buggs, Director of Diversity at Texas Parks and Wildlife, diversity and inclusion aren’t just nice ideas. As in nature, it’s crucial to the agency’s mission… and the survival of the organization.

Any good bio-scientist will tell you, if you don’t have that diversity in the eco-system, it’s not very strong. It’s going to eventually falter, and then invasive species or other things take over and it creates an imbalance in the habitat.

So, what does diversity inclusion look like at Texas Parks and Wildlife?

Diversity inclusion means everybody gets an opportunity to participate and to be fully engaged and to add value. And it makes for a better, stronger organization. …we’ve got to start having some of those conversations about how diversity adds value. It’s an uncomfortable conversation for some folks to have because when you’ve been in an environment where the only folks you see look just like you, you get real comfortable there. But you’ve got to start off being comfortable being uncomfortable. And once you’ve become comfortable being uncomfortable, it’s a lot easier to reach some of your goals and make your organization sustainable.

Find information about Texas Parks and Wildlife’s diversity and inclusion initiatives on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Diversity Initiatives at Texas Parks and Wildlife

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019
Diversity in the workplace

Diversity in the workplace

This is Passport to Texas

David Buggs is the Director of Diversity here at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He’s working hard to enact projects and programs for the agency that reflect the ever-changing demographics of the citizens of Texas.

We created a booklet that really spoke to who Texas Parks and Wildlife was. Not just the activity of the agency, but also the people of the agency …and it speaks to every division, talks about specific jobs, and it talks about why we love it here. …Another thing that we’ve also done is created our own diversity and inclusion webpage, and that’s something I’m very proud of as well. And we’ve had a lot of folks who go out that have hired on here recently, that have gone out and seen that webpage, saw some of the things that were on there, saw the statement that was created by our senior management, and said, “Okay, this is a place I want to be…”

And what initiative is closest to Director Buggs heart?

The project that I’m most proud of right now is our university partnership project. …we’re reaching out to predominately diverse universities—some Hispanic-serving universities, predominately African-American universities—and seeing how we can develop a partnership with them.

Find information on Texas Parks and Wildlife’s diversity initiatives on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Cultivating Diversity at Texas Parks and Wildlife

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
Chief Diversity Officer, David Buggs

Chief Diversity Officer, David Buggs

This is Passport to Texas

As the population demographics of Texas continue to evolve, so does Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas is a majority minority state. Not just ethnic diversity, but also gender diversity. … there are more women in the state of Texas now than there are men.

David Buggs, Director of Diversity at Texas Parks and Wildlife is leading the charge on this vital mission.

I love the outdoors. Always been a part of it, ever since my youth. I loved the mission of Texas Parks and Wildlife and having an opportunity to actually focus on diversity and inclusion, along with helping a mission, was just outstanding, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

And what does a Director of Diversity do exactly?

My position entails creating strategy for the entire organization, both internal diversity and inclusion strategy, looking at recruitment, looking at retention. But it also deals with the external piece, looking at outreach and education. I make sure that I’m facilitating good conversations, and basically what I do is hold up the mirror to everybody within the organization, so they can see who they are, and also talk about what we can do differently.

Find more on diversity at Texas Parks and Wildlife on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

We receive support from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

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.