Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00am, May 24, 2006

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item No. Subject Commission Meeting Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes.  
1. Land and Water Plan Update
Staff: Robert Cook
Committee Only
2. "Life's better outside.®" Communication Effort
Staff: Darcy Bontempo
Committee Only
3. Coastal Expo Program Briefing
Staff: Dave Buzan, Kris Shipman
Committee Only

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Outreach and Education Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Robert L. Cook will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency’s efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Robert L. Cook will update the Finance Committee on TPWD’s recent progress in achieving the Plan’s Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Outreach and Education Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Darcy Bontempo

Outreach and Education Committee
Update on the "Life's better outside.®" Communication Effort
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Darcy Bontempo, TPWD Marketing Director, and Laurel Simmons, Account Manager at GSD&M Ad Agency, will update the committee on how TPWD and GSD&M have been working closely together on the "Life's better outside.®" communication effort over the past year to develop and produce print, radio and outdoor advertising as well as reach school teachers in 500 elementary schools in Texas. We will also provide an update on sponsorship efforts.

II. Discussion: "Life's better outside.®" - Texas Parks and Wildlife believes that spending time in the outdoors is a meaningful and healthy way for families to spend time together. The "Life's better outside.®" advertising effort encourages families, especially urban families, to do just that. Research conducted by GSD&M revealed that most urban parents want to spend time outdoors with their families but often needed to be reminded to do this and to encourage their kids to set aside their indoor interests to spend an afternoon or a weekend in the outdoors together. Research also indicated that many parents do not know where to go to enjoy outdoor activities and do not want to travel for a long time to get there. The communication effort addresses these issues in a captivating and clever way. GSD&M will share the advertising they have developed and talk about their recent success in securing PSAs as well as securing donated school marketing support. We will also provide an update on future plans and sponsorship.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Dave Buzan
Kris Shipman

Outreach and Education Committee
Coastal Expo Program Briefing
May 2006

I. Executive Summary: Coastal Expos were created to promote awareness and understanding of the functions and values of coastal ecosystems. For over five years, Coastal Expos have been held in major urban areas in Texas and in communities along the coast, reaching over 5,000 Texans each year with hands-on activities.

II. Discussion: Coastal Expos are outreach events spearheaded by the Coastal Fisheries Division and are conducted by staff from several divisions within the agency. Expos also rely upon partnerships with local organizations and community volunteers. Created to promote awareness and understanding of the functions and values of coastal ecosystems, Coastal Expos reach over 5,000 Texans each year, many of them schoolchildren who are learning about marine environments in their science studies.

Coastal Expos are held annually across Texas targeting the Lower, Upper and Middle Coastal regions. Coastal Expo recognizes that most of Texas forms the watershed for the Texas coast and that Texans all over the state, not just living along the coast, play a critical role in protecting coastal ecosystems. Many components of Coastal Expos also are used in the annual Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo, held in Austin.

The typical Coastal Expo is a two-day event for schoolchildren and/or the general public with an average participation over 1,500 people. (See Exhibit A.) During an event, visitors can see and touch crabs, sea stars, and other coastal animals; view a glass-bottom stream; solve a mysterious fish kill; learn what washes up on the Texas coast; fish for live catfish; and participate in many other hands-on, educational activities.

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A – 3-year Summary of Coastal Expos Across Texas

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Coastal Expos

Date Event Location Partners Attendance
April 17, 2004 Earth Day Waco Cameron Park Zoo 530
April 24, 2004 Buccaneer Days Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, Buccaneer Days Commission 3,000
October 1-2, 2004 Rice Festival Bay City Bay City Lions Club & Lower Colorado River Authority 1,500
October 7-8, 2004 Wild Walk McAllen McAllen Chamber of Commerce 4,000
October 24, 2004 Texas Trailfest Austin Communities In Schools 100
November 13-14, 2004 Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Harlingen Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Commission 200
November 19-21, 2004 South Texas Wildlife & Birding Festival Kingsville Kingsville Convention & Visitors Bureau 2,000
February 4-5, 2005 Coastal Expo Alamo Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge 700
February 11-12, 2005 Ocelot Festival Harlingen Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge 4,000
February 26-27, 2005 Spring Festival Weslaco Valley Nature Center 100
March 11-12, 2005 Coastal Expo Marble Falls Lower Colorado River Authority 1,250
March 16-17, 2005 Coastal Expo Edinburg World Birding Center- Edinburg & City of Edinburg 1,500
October 6-7, 2006 Wild Walk McAllen McAllen Chamber of Commerce 2,575
October 17, 2006 Splash! Into Learning
World Water Monitoring Day
Austin Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center 439
October 21-22, 2006 Rice Festival Bay City Bay City Lions Club & Lower Colorado River Authority 1,000
November 17-19, 2006 South Texas Wildlife & Birding Festival Kingsville Kingsville Convention & Visitors Bureau 1,250
February 4, 2006 Family Expo Victoria Man To Man 890
February 11, 2006 Ocelot Festival Harlingen Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge 3,000
March 23- 25, 2006 Coastal Expo Marble Falls Lower Colorado River Authority 950
April 4-5, 2006 Coastal Expo Edinburg World Birding Center- Edinburg & City of Edinburg 3,500

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