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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-10-05                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, (903) 670-2238, zoeann.stinchcomb@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Oct. 5, 2009
State-Fish Art Expo Coming to Texas
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to Coordinate Contest, Host National Event
ATHENS, Texas-The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) has agreed to host the 2010 national State-Fish Art expo next July.
"The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is an ideal location to host the expo," said TFFC director Allen Forshage. "We have a conference center, aquaria and educational exhibits and stocked fishing ponds on-site. Athens is conveniently located just 1.5 hours southeast of Dallas, and the community fully supports TFFC's activities."
For the past three years TFFC has managed the Texas division of the national conservation art contest, and during that time Texas has led the country in the number of entries. Last year 624 Texas students in grades 4-12 submitted entries, a fourth of all the entries nationwide.
"We're thrilled that Texas, the leading State-Fish Art state, offered to host the expo to highlight the national winners in true Texas style," said Doug Grann, president of Wildlife Forever, national sponsor of the contest. "By moving the expo to Texas, we hope to inspire other states' participation and get more students to enter the contest."
The State-Fish Art contest is open to all students in public, private or home schools and requires submission of a one-page essay and a drawing of an officially recognized state fish. Entry deadline is March 31 each year.
Educators who wish to have their students enter the contest can download the free "State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan" at http://www.statefishart.com. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets.
Contest rules, guidelines and entry information can be found at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishart. Additional information can be obtained from the coordinator of the Texas division, Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, at (903) 670-2239 or zoeann.stinchcomb@tpwd.texas.gov.
The public portion of the State-Fish Art Expo will be held July 17, 2010 and will feature fishing, instructional seminars and demonstrations and a display of all the state and national contest winners. Plans are being made for a day-long schedule of events with food booths and outdoor activities and displays that the public can enjoy in addition to viewing the artwork and voting for the People's Choice Award. Public admission to the expo and related activities will be included with paid admission to TFFC.
One outstanding piece of artwork each year is selected for the Art of Conservation Award, and a commemorative stamp featuring the artwork is produced for sale. Proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to fund conservation projects. In 2007 a drawing of a Guadalupe bass, the Texas state fish, by Eagle Lake student Clayton Bowen, was selected as the Art of Conservation winner. The 2010 winner will be unveiled at the expo.
Support for the Texas division of the contest and the expo are provided by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which makes it possible for the top three Texas entries in each grade level to win cash prizes. First place in grades 10-12 wins $1,000; second place $750; third place $500. Prizes in the 4-6 and 7-9 grade levels are $100 for first; $75 for second; $50 for third.
Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a non-profit multi-species conservation organization dedicated to conserving America's wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to "on the ground" efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research and management of fish and wildlife populations.
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Bryan Frazier (512) 826-8703 ]
Oct. 5, 2009
Cedar Hill State Park To Host Harvest Heritage Festival
Outdoor Activities, Pumpkin Patch, Dance Highlight Day's Activities
CEDAR HILL, Texas -- To celebrate the rich farming and ranching heritage of the North Texas region, Cedar Hill State Park will host its first-ever autumn Harvest Heritage Festival on Saturday, October 17.
Beginning at 11 a.m., park visitors can enjoy numerous activities ranging from historic trade and craft demonstrations, art displays, an antique tractor display, archery, fishing, horse-drawn hay rides, to traditional dance demonstrations and more. Folks will also be able to play in an old-style vintage baseball game, or harvest pumpkins from the park's pumpkin patch at no cost.
"One of the unique features of this park is the presence of the historic Penn Farm Agricultural History Center," said Mercy Mcbrayer, coordinator of special events at Cedar Hill State Park. "The Penn family first started farming here in the mid 19th century and was here for more than a hundred years. A lot of the farm's original structures have been preserved, and they really let the public see what life was like on a family farm in the 1800's. Our Harvest Heritage Festival will celebrate this rich farming and ranching heritage of the area, and gives us a chance to showcase the rest of Cedar Hill State Park as a premier destination."
A traditional square dance for all ages is scheduled to close out the day's activities at 5 p.m., when everyone is invited to participate.
"This year, our festival will include a pumpkin patch that our park staff planted and cultivated during the entire last year. People can get a pumpkin at the festival, decorate it and take it home. We hope that this event not only brings more people out to the park, but becomes a tradition that folks look for year after year," Mcbrayer said.
Cedar Hill State Park is an 1,800-acre park and nature preserve located in the south part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, along the shores of Joe Pool Reservoir, just west of the city of Cedar Hill off of Beltline Road. The park is renowned for its bass and crappie fishing, miles of hilly and wooded hike and bike trails and its more than 350 campsites with water and electric hookups.
Admission to activities for the Harvest Heritage Festival is free to everyone with general park admission, which is $5 per person for ages 13 and older, and children ages 12 and younger are free. For more information, contact Cedar Hill State Park at (972) 291-3900, or visit the park's Web site.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/cedar_hill/
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Bryan Frazier (512) 826-8703 ]
Oct. 5, 2009
Abilene State Park Commemorates 75 Years
Park Reschedules Anniversary Celebration for Oct. 24
TUSCOLA, Texas -- Abilene State Park, a park known to generations for its big, rustic rock swimming pool, its famous RV camping loop circle, and its large pecan and oak trees, has rescheduled its 75th Anniversary celebration for Saturday, Oct. 24.
This will mark the second attempt by park staff to commemorate the event, as the first try was cancelled because of rain back in May. The day's activities will run from noon till 4 p.m., followed by a stargazing party led by the Big Country Astronomy Club that night.
The Abilene High School Eagle marching band-considered one of the oldest marching band programs in Texas-will kickoff the opening ceremony, just as the Abilene High band did back in 1934 during the park's original grand opening. A tribute to companies of the Civilian Conservation Corps, part of the famed New Deal program instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930s, and which helped build numerous parks nationwide including Abilene State Park, will also be made during the ceremony. Local dignitaries and community leaders will also be on hand to speak about the importance of the state park to Abilene and the Big Country region.
"I think the significance of this park is that it has always been a gathering place for citizens of this area, and for visitors to enjoy," said Okie Okerstrom, who is in her 17th year as park superintendent. "Maintaining this public land and resource and keeping it accessible emphasizes the importance of its history and preserving it for future generations. The Comanche people camped here; pioneer settlers settled here. The buffalo hunters were here... The park has always been a popular gathering spot."
Other activities scheduled for Saturday afternoon include birding and nature hikes, live musical and dancing entertainment from groups such as the Order of the Arrow Indian dancers, plus a Kid Fish in Buffalo Wallow and other hands-on activities for children and adults. Storytellers also will share stories of Indians and early settlers of the area.
In addition, there will be a classic car show and food vendors on site selling snack and fast food items. The park is waiving its customary $4 per-person adult entrance fee (kids ages 12 and younger are always free) all weekend long,
Over the years, Abilene State Park has become a symbol of both an unchanged landscape for traditional family fun, as well as one of how parks can adapt to the changing needs of their customers' recreational interests. The park's CCC-built swimming pool, scenic pecan groves and RV camping loop remain popular attractions that bring groups of people back year after year.
The park's recent history, however, also includes some notable changes. Four years ago, the park expanded by roughly 1,000 acres with the addition of Lake Abilene to its original 529 acres. The lake acreage, which includes restrooms and a security fence, adds a new fishing and boating dimension to the park visitor experience. Abilene State Park also boasts the only Yurt tent sites in the state park system. A Yurt is a large, canvas tent structure with a floor and furnishings, giving campers yet another option of overnight accommodations.
Abilene State Park continues to represent a significant economic contribution to the Taylor County area, generating more than $1 million in sales to the local economy, having roughly a $560,000 impact on personal income, and adding more than $5,000 in sales tax each year.
For more information about Abilene State Park, the 75th anniversary celebration, contact Abilene State Park at (325) 572-3204.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/abilene
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Larry Hodge, 903-676-2277, larry.hodge@tpwd.texas.gov ] [LH]
Oct. 5, 2009
Toyota ShareLunker Video Now on YouTube
ATHENS, Texas -- Anglers wanting to know what to do if they catch a huge largemouth bass and want to enter it into the Toyota ShareLunker program can now get all the facts in a video.
The official Texas Parks and Wildlife Department channel on the popular YouTube site now features a video with lots of footage of eye-popping bass as well as information on the ShareLunker program. Just visit http://www.youtube.com/texasparkswildlife to watch.
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