April 2018 News of the WILD E-Newsletter

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

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In This Issue:

“Land, then, is not merely soil;

it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals.”

~ Aldo Leopold

Program Spotlight: City Nature Challege - Texas

CNC 2018

Is your school in the greater metropolitan area of Amarillo, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Lower Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio? If so, join Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Master Naturalists, the Audubon Society, and others in the City Nature Challenge (CNC). CNC is a fun challenge to see which city around the world can document the most species.

Education Toolkits are filled with classroom activities, field investigations, media and guides to prepare students, nature center visitors, homeschools and more for the CNC. Find tips for bringing kids outside and see how CNC can fit into your curriculum or education programs.

Students will…

  • Classify and differentiate major groups of plants and animals
  • Compare observations of species among different areas in the school yard or outdoor space
  • Identify the characteristics of major groups of organisms on earth and discuss global biodiversity
  • Build observation, identification, and classification skills
  • Explore City Nature Challenge results through data analysis

Taking Part is Easy

  • Find wildlife: It can be any plant, animal, fungi, slime mold, or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses!) found in your participating city.
  • Take a picture of what you find:  Be sure to note the location of the critter or plant.
  • Share your observations: By uploading your findings through iNaturalist or your city's chosen platform.

 For more information and to get involved in Texas, go to City Nature Challenge - Texas.

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Teacher Resources: Keep Texas Wild - Wildlife Consevation

KTW Conserving Critters

Conserving Critters

Our focus is on wildlife conservation because of the nature of this month's topic, however, we hope we've opened the door to other, broader discussions about conservation in your classroom by introducing the term "resources." Since the formal definition of conservation is "the wise use of resources" the larger subject includes many other arenas including soil and water conservation.

Print "Conserving Critters"

You may print and distribute this PDF of the article for classroom use.

Student Research Pages

These Web pages are for your students, with links to activities, video clips and related Web sites to guide your students' research.

Background for Teachers

Learn more about the topics for this month.

Vocabulary - definitions and context

These definitions include a context sentence to aid in understanding.

Activities and Lesson Plans

From discussion questions to fun activities, try these supplements to your curriculum to engage students' interest.

Project WILD Activities

Activities suited for this month's topics.

Upcoming Workshops, Scholarships, and Events


Learn to share conservation with children: Professional Development for anyone who works with children.

For more workshops visit: https://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/project-wild-growing-up-wild-workshops

WILD Workshop Scholarships!

    Awarded based on underserved student populations and teacher need

    Covers Texas WILD workshop fee

    Applications accepted April 2-30, 2018

    Awards announced May 10

    Apply here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/project-wild

Project WILD new book

The new Project WILD books are here!  They include new activities, updated background material, STEM connections and careers in every activity, and expanded, student-driven investigations.


  • April 8 Birding 101 at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Birds and binoculars! Join a ranger for an introduction to the great hobby of birding.

Join us on a guided walk to learn about our native habitat and find out who of our "Rio Grande Valley Specialty Birds" can be spotted. This walk is for all visitors, young or old who wants to learn about wildlife, the park, and its bird life. Bring water, one-hour easy trail walk.

The festival features special speakers on informative topics, bird-related exhibitors and vendors, raptor demonstrations, Master Birder-led bird hikes (both beginner and experienced), and a tent full of bird crafts for the little ones. Even bird-friendly plants for sale! The Wingding offers something for everyone!

Connect with conservationists, educators, park rangers, bird and butterfly lovers, naturalists, gardeners and others to learn and share about our winged locals in the choice Dinosaur Valley State Park, with its nearly 1,600 acres and its scenic and accessible, rock-bottomed Paluxy River. Find out how you can be an effective conservation leader in your own backyard, school, or community!

  • April 21 BioBlitz! at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Parkr

Learn to document and identify wildlife using the iNaturalist App.

  • April 27-30 City Nature Challenge in Amarillo, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Lower Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio

Join Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Master Naturalists, the Audubon Society, and others in a fun challenge to see which city can document the most species. It is easy to participate by joining an event, or making observations on your own using iNaturalist.

To learn more about other fun events and recreational activities, we invite you to sign up to receive our free email updates or visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/

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. 

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