We Make the Outdoors EASY! News of the WILD--Oct 2016

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A TPWD newsletter of Conservation Education for educators, interpreters, trainers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

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Archived editions of this eNewsletter can be found here.

In This Issue:

Program Spotlight: Texas Outdoor Family

Texas Outdoor Family

There are many hurdles that prevent audiences from exploring the opportunities for fun in Texas’ State Parks. The Texas Parks and Wildlife program, the Texas Outdoor Family, works to remove those barriers by providing the access, gear, and confidence a user needs to establish a new hobby.

Texas Outdoor Family (TOF) hosts “discover camping” themed workshops. These overnight programs are centered in parks within a short drive of Texas’ metro areas making access easier for a majority of Texans.  The TOF program provides participants with essential camping equipment (tent, stove, cots and more!), fun activities, and park ranger’s comforting presence, and instruction on gear use in each weekend workshop.  TOF attempts to bring back to parks the hopeful user who says, “I have never slept in a tent and I don’t know where to start”.

On a recent event a TOF ranger was asked by a passerby, “Can you help with time? I’m so busy…” The ranger was able to emphatically answer “Yes! We handle the planning for you. Make a reservation that works for your family or friends. Arrive with food, your group, and the personal items we suggest you bring. We take care of the rest!”

The TOF program has recently expanded efforts beyond families and is partnering with community organizations, youth groups, and schools. By establishing a partner coordinator, offering outdoor leadership training, and making gear available in parks for each organization to host their own “discover camping” workshops.

100% of surveyed families say they enjoyed the experience and are likely to go camping again after the conclusion of a TOF workshop. Interested in sharing the fun? Email us at tofsp@tpwd.texas.gov to be connected to a TOF ranger in your area. Out 2017 calendar of workshops is soon to be released!     

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    Teacher Resources

    Texas Aquatic Science logo

    Spanish Translation

    Texas Aquatic Science now has Spanish subtitles available for each chapter video. Learners can turn the subtitles on or off and toggle between English and Spanish. Also, we now have a side-by-side Spanish and English glossary to help learners with the more difficult science terminology they may experience in the curriculum. 

    Video Contest

    Here’s another great opportunity for you and your students this school year! In the Texas Aquatic Science Video Contest, students will plan the concept of their project, develop a script/storyboard, and create their video in a logical format which communicates their point.

    Educators can use this comprehensive rubric to run the project, select  winner(s) and provide great examples of other student created science videos. It even includes a tutorial on outdoor video production from our TPWD Media Production team.

    Challenge your students to work together to create a video that explains a specific concept or topic in the Texas Aquatic Science curriculum.

    RSVP to Johnnie.smith@tpwd.texas.gov if you would like to participate.

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    Upcoming Events

    Project WILD Workshops

    The WILDest weekend this fall!  November 19 boasts 4 Project WILD workshops!  

    Check the TPWD Calendar Project WILD postings for details.

    • Austin – Asian American Resource Center – Project WILD/Growing Up WILD Combo
    • College Station - Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, TAMU – Growing Up WILD
    • Denison – Eisenhower State Park – Project WILD
    • San Antonio – Medina River Natural Area – Project WILD

    Texas Outdoor Family Events

    Join us for a fun-filled weekend designed to help your family discover the joys of camping and Texas State Parks. All camping gear and equipment required for an overnight stay at the park is included with each reservation! Click for a list of activities offered and specific information for this workshop. Check the Calendar regularly for offerings near you!

    Nov 4 - Dinosaur Valley State Park | Two Night Event! | Texas Outdoor Family | Dutch Oven Cooking Event | Fort Worth Area | (Full - Waitlist Forming)

    Nov 5 - Stephen F. Austin State Park | Texas Outdoor Family | Houston Area | (Full - Waitlist Forming)

    Nov 19 - McKinney Falls State Park | Texas Outdoor Family | Austin Area | (Full-Waitlist Forming)

    To learn more about other fun events and recreational activities, we invite you to sign up to receive our free email updates.  Preview archived copies of these and other e-newsletters here:

    • Life’s Better Outside e-newsletter, featuring stories and news on hunting, fishing, state parks, and conservation efforts
    • State Parks Getaways e-newsletter and State Parks Promotions and Offers, highlighting ideas for your next park visit, news of park events, and fun seasonal activities  
    • The Award winning Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine
    • Specialty Newsletters, such as Eye on Nature and Texas Hummer, including topics on wildlife diversity, conservation and statewide volunteer opportunities

    You can change your subscription preferences or unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the “Manage Subscriptions” link at the bottom of any email you receive from us. 

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    Program Links

    Angler Education | Boater Education | Buffalo Soldiers | Coastal EXPO

    Hunter Education | Recreation Grants | Save Water for Wildlife | Teacher Toolkit

    Texas Archery in the Schools | Texas Children in Nature | Nature Rocks Texas

    Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center | Texas Master Naturalist

    Texas Nature Trackers | Texas Project WILD | Texas State Parks