Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, January 27, 2010

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744

Commissioner Margaret Martin, Committee Chair
Lydia Saldaña, Committee Liaison

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Life's better outside.® Experience Update
    Staff: Trey Hamlett
  3. Invasive Species Awareness Campaign
    Staff: Lydia Saldaña, Darcy Bontempo

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Outreach and Education Committee
Update on TPWD Progress in Implementing the TPWD Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan
January 27, 2010

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Carter Smith 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 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. In November 2009, the Commission approved a new Plan effective January 1, 2010. The 2010 Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Carter Smith will update the Outreach and Education Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan's goals, objectives and deliverables as they relate to the Outreach and Education Committee.

The Plan consists of the following four goals:

  1. Practice, Encourage and Enable Science-based Stewardship of Natural and Cultural Resources
  2. Increase Access To and Participation In the Outdoors
  3. Educate, Inform and Engage Texas Citizens in Support of Conservation and Recreation
  4. Employ Efficient, Sustainable and Sound Business Practices

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Trey Hamlett

Outreach and Education Committee
Life's better outside.® Experience
January 27, 2010

I. Executive Summary: Trey Hamlett, Outreach Event Coordinator, will update the Commission on the Life's better outside.® Experience events that will be replacing Expo for 2010 and 2011. The suspension of Expo has given TPWD the opportunity to move its major outreach efforts beyond Central Texas. TPWD will be working with existing public events and celebrations to present Expo-like activities at the Life's better outside.® Experience. The mission of the Life's better outside.® Experience is to provide hands-on outdoor activities for unengaged families, youth and children, to introduce them to outdoor participation which can lead to conservation of our natural and cultural resources.

II. Discussion: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is partnering with select stock shows, rodeos and other family-oriented cultural events to present the Life's better outside.® Experience.

During Expo's 17 year run, more than half a million visitors of all ages got to try activities like fishing, shooting, birding, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking and more with gear and guidance provided free. The new Life's better outside.® Experience will continue that tradition.

The suspension of Expo has given TPWD the opportunity to move its major outreach efforts to other regions of the state. The goal of the Life's better outside.® Experience is to provide hands-on outdoor activities for families, youth and children who do not recreate in the outdoors, to introduce them to these activities which can lead to conservation of our natural and cultural resources.

Moving around the state will allow TPWD to reach Texans who might not have had an opportunity to come to Austin. Each event will focus on outdoor opportunities in that region of the state, with information on nearby state parks, good spots to go fishing, paddling, camping, etc. The Life's better outside.® Experience will also help to connect families to outdoor groups and conservation organizations in their area.

The goal remains the same: to engage underserved audiences and bring more people into the world of the great outdoors. One of our core beliefs is that recreation leads to conservation. By introducing Texans, especially urban Texans, to outdoor recreation, the outdoors becomes more relevant to them. They come to care about it and finally to care for it.

The Life's better outside.® Experience schedule for 2010 is:


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenters: Lydia Saldaña
Darcy Bontempo

Outreach and Education Committee
Invasive Species Awareness Campaign
January 27, 2010

I. Executive Summary: This item will brief the Commission on the Invasive Species awareness campaign which will launch in April 2010.

II. Discussion: The 2007 Sunset Advisory Commission recommended that the Department "provide greater information to the public on the harm caused by releasing exotic species." Increasing public awareness is a key strategy in the state's effort to educate the public about invasive species and what they can do to help stop or reduce their spread across Texas.

TPWD has determined that giant salvinia should be the first invasive species of focus for this campaign since it has been sighted in several East Texas lakes and is a highly destructive and fast growing aquatic invasive plant that can be spread unknowingly by water recreation users. TPWD worked closely with its advertising agency, Sherry Matthew Advocacy Marketing, to develop "Hello, Goodbye," a public awareness campaign that can easily be adapted to address any invasive species of concern. The multi-media campaign for giant salvinia will target primarily boaters and anglers in East Texas, educating these audiences about what giant salvinia is, why they should care, and what steps they can take to help stop its spread to other bodies of water.

The multi-media campaign will consist of a thirty-second television spot to air in Houston and Tyler, online ad banners, magazine print ads and visually impactful signage at key lakes (Caddo, Conroe, Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend). The signage will include a minimum of 50 buoys near boat ramps, 80 pump toppers at area marina gas stations, and four billboards at major entrance roads to the lakes. TPWD will also host at least two media events during the campaign period. The Department will also have a promotional presence at several major fishing events. Brochures and promotional fishing rulers (with information about aquatic invasive species and how to stop the spread) will also be distributed at these events. Partnerships with fishing clubs and organizations are currently in development to help expand the reach and effectiveness of this campaign.

The main call to action for the campaign is "Clean your boat, trailer and gear" and to visit the www.texasinvasives.org website for more information on where to report new sightings or learn more about this or other invasive species. TPWD will be conducting a pre-and post-awareness survey among boaters and anglers in East Texas to determine if the campaign increased their awareness of giant salvinia and their likelihood to clean their boat, trailer and gear.

The challenge with any public awareness campaign in Texas is that it is expensive to develop and produce advertising, and given the population of Texas it is very expensive to purchase media. For this reason TPWD is also working with the Sherry Matthews agency to develop sponsorship proposals which could provide additional funding to expand and possibly fund future campaign executions addressing other species of concern.


Back to Top
Back to Top