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|  TPWD News Releases About State Parks and Destinations Dated 2012-08-23 |
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[ Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Ky Harkey, Texas State Parks (512) 705-9388 or ky.harkey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Aug. 23, 2012
Texas State Parks Announce Fall Camping Workshops for Outdoor Families
Workshops address common concerns and removes barriers to enjoying outdoor recreation
AUSTIN - Texas Outdoor Family, a Texas State Park family camping program, announces 26 new workshops at state parks across Texas to teach families the basics of camping and enjoying the great outdoors. The program offers low-cost weekends to help families "unplug" and reconnect with nature and one-another.
"It’s not unusual to be a little intimidated to take the first step," says Ky Harkey, Outdoor Education team lead for Texas State Parks. "But once you do, it can open up a lifetime of adventure for you and your family."
During the overnight workshops, families learn the basic skills of pitching a tent and cooking outdoors, but workshops also focus on how to enjoy the parks through activities like kayaking, fishing, and geocaching - an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS technology. Participants also learn how to protect their state parks through good stewardship and "Leave No Trace" principles.
"Our first family camping trip was an overwhelming success," says Tony Williams, TOF graduate and father of two from San Antonio. "My family now has the camping bug! It keeps the boys away from the 'screens' and gets them more active."
"In a time when kids are six times more likely to play a video game than ride a bike or play outside, we're proud to offer the first step to helping families get outdoors and enjoy their state parks," says Harkey.
The cost of workshops starts at $65 per family (up to six people), and includes camping fees, instruction from rangers, equipment rentals, and all gear except food and bedding. Families with no experience can show up with a few recommended household items and the rest of the weekend will be coordinated by program staff.
About Texas Outdoor Family
Texas Outdoor Family is a proactive program aimed at encouraging children and their decision makers (parents or guardians) to get outdoors and enjoy state parks. The Texas Outdoor Family Program began in 2006 as an outreach and education effort offered by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to address "Nature Deficit Disorder," a term coined by author Richard Louv to describe the growing disconnect between families and nature. The Texas Outdoor Family program has helped more than 2,500 families reconnect to state parks since its inception and has been replicated by several other states.
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[ Note: This item is more than two 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]
Aug. 23, 2012
$10,000 Grant to Fund Bastrop State Park Trail Building
BASTROP - Bastrop State Park will use a $10,000 grant from Coca-Cola to underwrite the continued building of new park trails.
Bastrop State Park is receiving the grant in connection with Coca-Cola's "America Is Your Park" campaign, in which parks nationwide competed to win the most votes for a top grant of $100,000. Bastrop State Park came in 12th with 661,565 votes.
"The tremendous support we received from people and companies for Bastrop State Park is testament to the special place this park holds in the minds and hearts of Texans," said Brent Leisure, Texas State Parks director. "We are very appreciative of Coca-Cola's $10,000 donation that will allow us to hire America's YouthWorks to complete new trails in the park."
Bastrop State Park has been making a strong comeback since last Labor Day Weekend's horrific wildfire that burned most of the park.
Since last year's tragic Labor Day fire that hit 96 percent of the 6,500-acre state park, more than $200,000 in donations for Bastrop State Park recovery have come from a variety of sources. The donations have helped TPWD initiate a contract with American YouthWorks to assist with restoration efforts that include clearing downed trees and other debris, restoring park trails and constructing hand-hewn pine log bridges.
Despite the destruction of much of its loblolly pine forests, Bastrop State Park is seeing the growth of some vegetation and the return of park customers who are coming to camp, rent a cabin, fish, play golf and picnic. Visitors can stay at all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs, and most of the park trails have been reopened.
For more information on the America Is Your Park campaign, visit http://www.livepositively.com.
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