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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2007-02-20                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Steve Lightfoot, 512-389-4701, steve.lightfoot@tpwd.texas.gov ] [SL]
Feb. 20, 2007
Student Archers Gather in Temple for Statewide Competition
TEMPLE, Texas -- Upwards of 250 student archers from 20 public, private and charter schools will be competing here at the Mayborn Convention Center Feb. 23 in the second annual Texas Archery in Schools Program tournament.
The one-day tournament is hosted by the Texas Field Archery Association in conjunction with its annual statewide adult tournament. The Texas Archery in Schools Program is a joint venture of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Cooperative Extension Service. Its focus is on providing target archery training in fourth through 12th grade physical education classes.
Dallas Safari Club, Gulf States Toyota and the Texas Hunter Education Association are sponsoring the program and event.
"Archery turns a lot of kids on to the shooting sports in general and is a safe way for them to experience the shooting sports in an indoor controlled setting," said Steve Hall, TPWD education director. "Archery is a sport that is accessible to all students, and studies have shown that students who are involved in extra-curricular activities are much less likely to drop out of school. In other states, the program has been shown to improve kids' self-esteem and engagement in school, and we believe that many of the participants will go on to become bow hunters and supporters of wildlife conservation."
The Texas program is modeled after the National Archery in Schools Program, which originated in Kentucky in 2002 and is currently active in 45 states. Texas began training teachers in 2005 and piloted the program in schools in 2006. Through a partnership with the Texas Cooperative Extension Service, Texas A&M University System and Texas 4-H Shooting Sports Program, TPWD is initiating full-scale implementation of the program and has hired a statewide coordinator.
Burnie Kessner, director of the Arkansas 4-H Center and longtime wildlife biologist and outdoor educator, has been hired and will start March 1 as the new statewide Archery in Schools program coordinator for Texas. He has been trained in archery programs, hunter education and programs like Project WILD in his extensive experience working for extension services and fish and wildlife agencies in Georgia, Arkansas and Texas. His primary duties will include archery training for teachers and teacher trainers interested in advancing the program in their schools. Kessner will be housed at the Texas Cooperative Extension Service, Texas A&M University, and can be reached temporarily by contacting hunter education staff at Texas Parks & Wildlife Department at 512-389-4999.
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ] [BT]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Beth Taylor (979) 830-1824 or bethtaylor@birthplaceoftexas.net ]
Feb. 20, 2007
Two-Day Celebration of 171st Anniversary of Texas Independence Slated for Washington-on-the-Brazos March 3-4
WASHINGTON, Texas -- The birthplace of Texas will celebrate the 171st birthday of Texas independence from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3 and 4 at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
The annual celebration brings Texas alive as the park is transformed into the early 1800s. The transformation is complete with costumed performers, period craft demonstrations, toe-tappin' Texas music and black-powder gun salutes by the Texas Army.
Highlighting the free, two-day celebration will be a 2 p.m. interactive program featuring noted Texas figures from 1836 and 2007, including U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, state Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst and Sam Houston IV.
Entertainment will be provided by acclaimed Texas singer-songwriter Brian Burns. Burns will perform the state's top-rated school assembly program, "Once Upon a Time in Texas." The performer's engaging repertoire of songs and storytelling brings Texas' illustrious history, culture and folklore to life.
Houston television personality Ron Stone (Eyes of Texas) will once again emcee the Sunday afternoon ceremony that will conclude with the cutting of Texas' largest birthday cake for all to enjoy. Food and drink vendors also will be on hand during the two-day event.
The Star of the Republic Museum will feature a special exhibit that includes one of the few remaining printed broadsides of the Texas Declaration of Independence from the University of Texas' Center for American History. The historic document declaring Texas free from Mexican rule was written in an unfinished, frame building at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March of 1836.
Park visitors can tour a replica of the Independence Hall, replicated on the original cornerstones of the site where the Texas declaration was signed on March 2, 1836. All tour fees and park entry fees are waived during the special weekend. Also open to the public at no cost will be the Barrington Living History Farm, which brings to life a typical 1850s-era farm of the Brazos River valley. The farm contains a number of log and frame buildings, including the original clapboard home of Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas.
The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association sponsors the Texas Independence Day Celebration.
The historic complex is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. Barrington Living History Farm is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. The Star of the Republic Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located off Texas Highway 105 on FM 1155 between Brenham and Navasota, approximately an hour northwest of Houston. For additional details of the weekend celebration, please call (936) 878-2214.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/
http://www.birthplaceoftexas.com/
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
Feb. 20, 2007
Capture Big Bend's Spring Splendor at Photo Workshop
PRESIDIO, Texas -- Flowing desert springs and blooming Chihuahua Desert wildflowers, cacti and shrubs should provide colorful subjects for shutterbugs attending Big Bend Ranch State Park's twice-annual digital photography workshop April 13-15.
"The park was blessed with considerable amounts of rain and snow this winter, so the ranch's chaparral, canyons and mountain slopes should be awash in floral color," said Houston photographer Jim Carr. "The workshop is designed for both beginning and intermediate digital photographers."
Carr, a retired commercial photographer, is quite knowledgeable about what makes Big Bend Ranch such a special place. He has been conducting trail rides and photo workshops at the scenic 300,000-acre state park and working cattle ranch for more than 10 years.
Workshop participants will be taught how to properly light and compose a picture, and what to do with pictures after they've been taken, according to Carr. Instruction will touch on digital photo storage and organization as well as how to delete, edit and resize the image for e-mailing, printing or posting on a Web site.
The $400 workshop cost includes meals, lodging, all park fees and transportation in connection with the on-site workshop. Workshop participants will meet at Fort Leaton State Historic Site in Presidio and be transported to Big Bend Ranch.
Participants meet at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 13, at Fort Leaton State Historic Site three miles east of Presidio on FM 170. Each person will need to provide his own lunch on Friday. On Saturday at the ranch, photographers will go into the field to take scenic and candid shots. The last morning is reserved for a discussion about what to do with the hundreds of photos that have been taken. After lunch on Sunday, participants are free to take photos on their own anywhere on the ranch before heading home.
To register for the workshop, call Big Bend Ranch State Park at (432) 229-3416. For additional information about the workshops, call Carr at (281) 486-8070 or send an e-mail to jcpic@sbcglobal.net.
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov ] [RM]
Feb. 20, 2007
Fulton Mansion Dig Turns up Piles of Bones
FULTON, Texas -- Make no bones about it. The Fulton family, who lived along the South Texas coast in the late 1800s, ate pretty high on the hog.
They may indeed have eaten pork, but a recent archeological dig behind the historic site tells us that the Fultons definitely dined on turtle soup and beef, among other things.
That's the preliminary conclusion drawn by Chris Ringstaff, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department archeologist. Ringstaff has been conducting an archeological dig behind the bayside mansion built by George and Harriett Fulton in the late 1870s in preparation for construction of a new Visitors Center slated to begin next year.
Ringstaff says during the excavation of several four-foot deep exploratory trenches last month, two piles of bones were exposed that were later determined to be those of sea turtles without skulls and flippers, the appendages likely having been used to make turtle soup for Fulton feasts.
"Man, if the bones had been related to the Karankawa who once inhabited the coast, it would have been unprecedented since to my knowledge there is no documented Karankawa turtle processing sites," Ringstaff said. "What this appears to be is that someone went out into the back 40 and tossed out the bones."
The TPWD employee said he recovered some saw-cut pieces of cow bone, as well, from within the second pile of turtle bones, which is an indicator of age. "Karankawas typically didn't eat cows and didn't use saws," he noted.
The excavation revealed two piles of bones 20 feet apart and about a foot thick that had decomposed and compressed, according to the archeologist. A third cluster has been discovered between the two, but Ringstaff says since the excavation's present scope is to assess the presence and significance of the archeological deposit rather than recover data, it will be left alone.
"It's interesting because the find directly relates to the Fultons," said Ringstaff. "We know they had turtle on the menu. They had live turtles in pens, which were in a submerged gated area down the road, so the archeological evidence is consistent with what we have in the historical record."
Ringstaff said an archeological dig for cultural artifacts must be done before construction starts to comply with state and federal law. He explained that's because matching federal funds are being used to build the Visitors Center, any work on the site must comply with the National Historic Preservation Act, as well as the Texas Antiquities Code.
The Fultons' diaries, letters and other keepsakes donated to the University of Texas provide insight into social aspects of the family's life back before the turn of the 20th century. The artifacts have revealed, among other things, that Harriett had a garden out back that would have been located not far from where the turtle bones were found, and that the Fultons were financially well off for Texans of that time period.
Fulton, a successful cattleman and merchant, put his considerable mathematical and engineering aptitude to work in construction of the three-story, French Empire-style that featured rarely heard of conveniences on the Texas frontier in the late 1800s. He equipped the house on Aransas Bay with an air conditioning and heating system, indoor plumbing, sound-proof insulation and other amenities.
For now, excavations have ceased due to winter rains that have filled the sandy trenches with water. In the meantime, representatives of the National Park Service are due to visit to look at the turtle bones from a biological perspective to determine how species more than 100 years ago might have been impacted by coastal canneries and those who dined on the reptiles.
The Fulton Mansion State Historic Site is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which offers tours of the mansion Wednesday through Sunday. For more information about the historic site or house tours, call (361) 729-0386.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/fulton_museum/
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