Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., April 2, 2003

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item
No.
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Status of the Education, Interpreation and Outreach Strategic Plan
Staff: Lydia Saldaña
Committee Only
3. Other Business

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee
January 22, 2003

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 22nd day of January 2003, there came on to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 3:05 p.m. to wit:

I. COMMISSION ATTENDANCE:
Katharine Armstrong, Commission Chair
Alvin Henry, Committee Chair
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr.
Joseph Fitzsimons
Phil Montgomery
Donato Ramos
Kelly Rising
Mark Watson, Jr.

II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES: Minutes approved.
Motion: Commissioner Watson
Second: Commissioner Ramos

III. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE FOR CONSIDERATION:

1. BRIEFING – Chairman’s Charges

Mr. Cook introduced Lydia Saldana and Steve Hall to present a briefing on the status of the implementation of the department’s outreach and education plan. He also noted that the Education Outreach Advisory Committee would be conducting its first meeting the following day (January 23rd), chaired by Mr. Dick Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett was acknowledged and asked to stand.

2. BRIEFING – TPWD Education and Outreach Plan

Lydia Saldana, Director of Communications, introduced herself and Steve Hall, Director of the Education and Outreach Branch.

Saldana noted that she and Drew Thigpen, Deputy Director of Administration, has recently inherited the oversight responsibility for education and outreach and the branch responsible for many of the formal education programs. She reported progress on mandates laid out in the Sunset Bill and on TPWD’s education and outreach efforts. She turned it over to Hall.

Hall made a presentation on the status of education, interpretation and outreach efforts – a snapshot since the last Commission meeting. He said that the Commission has already been briefed on the Sunset Response and that the internal education, interpretation and outreach task force has embarked on a strategic planning effort that will have the involvement and input from the Advisory Committee (external constituency).

Strategic planning would be better coordinated within the department and measured against best practices such as the initiative undertaken by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation to which Hall is a member. The task force, that has met no less than eight times, has implemented a project plan (business-like approach) including policies and procedures and roles and responsibilities of every entity working with education and outreach. The project plan contains three main components:

Program Charter – document approving a particular education, interpretation and/or outreach program designed to meet the mission and strategies of the agency. The task force has identified about 40 such programs coordinated or conducted by TPWD. He gave examples and noted that executive management will sign off on all charters.
Program Registry – the collection of all program charters that folks outside the agency can view to determine TPWD efforts.
Annual Accomplishments – Document submitted by each program manager, annually, that is reviewed and signed by project manager and executive management that include recommendations for improvement and even termination.
Another component of the plan that is in the works is a comprehensive statewide database that will be used to coordinate and even evaluate events and programs. He gave examples of how the database would help TPWD better coordinate its efforts, especially between divisional lines. The database would also help with reporting measures (e.g. LBB) and evaluation tools and instruments that might be used by program managers to determine effectiveness of their programs. The database would also be web-based, ideally, so that field staff and facilities could get to it to easily enter information that they currently enter and pass onto others to compile.

Hall turned it back over to Saldana to describe efforts with the Advisory Committee.

Saldana mentioned that the agency would be harnessing the talents and skills of an external group of individuals. She noted that Commissioner Armstrong assembled a "blue ribbon group" of members who are to meet the very next day. They will assist with:

Strategic Planning Efforts
Diversity of perspectives including a diversity of disciplines. Experts in all facets, including education, interpretation and outreach, as well as landowners, agricultural interests, nature tourism and an advertising executive are on the committee.
Refining and doing better at articulating our conservation message

Members further include Susan Combs, Agricultural Commissioner and Ramona Bass, creator of Texas Wild Exhibit at Fort Worth Zoo and a representative from the Texas Education Agency (Comer). Leading the committee is Dick Bartlett who has been active in conservation for more than 40 years including being on the boards of:

National Council for Science and the Environment
Texas Environmental Education Partnership Fund
National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (Vice-Chairman)
Texas and New Mexico Nature Conservancies
Aldo Leopold Foundation

She noted that Bartlett is also an avid hunter and angler.

She made a few closing remarks, introduced an Aldo Leopold quote and entertained questions from the Commissioners.

Hall noted that two new and very talented members (not on the slide) joined the group only the day before: Bobby Barrera and Ted Eubanks --who accepted the invitation by the Commission.

HENRY: Called for questions or comments.
MONTGOMERY: Asked that, whenever it is appropriate, the Commission receive as specific as possible a definition of goals and gave an example. He wanted to understand where we are to heading including resource allocation issues.
SALDANA: Echoed Montgomery’s sentiments.
MONTGOMERY: Stated that programs will flow from the goals and emphasized that the goals be precise, understood and agree to. He said it is a big challenge and acknowledged Dick Bartlett as being a wonderful chairman (great choice) to such a great group of people.
ARMSTRONG: Acknowledged and thanked Bartlett and noted his enthusiasm for education and conservation as being infectious. She also acknowledged and thanked David Langford for his hard work and noted that the effort is really clicking now. She personally noted her excitement for this important effort. It is a mission and acknowledged and thanked Commissioner Henry for being on that mission a long time.
HENRY: Thanked Commissioner Armstrong.
ARMSTRONG: Asked for questions or comments.
HENRY: Asked that the committee be closed.
ARMSTRONG: Adjourned the meeting.

IV. ADJOURNMENT: 3:30 pm


Committee Agenda Item No. 1

Outreach and Education Committee
Chairman's Charges
April 2003

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Lydia Saldaña

Status of the Education, Interpretation and Outreach Strategic Plan
April 2003

I. Discussion: A draft of the Education, Interpretation and Outreach Strategic Plan has been prepared by an internal task force and reviewed by executive management. The draft will next be sent to the Education and Outreach Advisory Committee who will review and discuss it at their next regularly scheduled meeting on April 17 at Sheldon Lake State Park. The final draft will be sent to this Commission prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting in May for review and comment. The plan will be implemented beginning in FY04 and direct department education and outreach efforts for the next ten years. It also establishes a foundation for management of those efforts that complies with the provisions set forth in the Sunset Bill.


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