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Download the FREE Texas State Parks app for iOs and Android at TexasStateParks.org/app
Thanks to passage of landmark bills by the 84th Legislature, Texas State Parks will receive 94 percent of state sales tax revenue attributed to sporting goods, and more flexibility to spend these dollars where they are most needed. To see a list of improvement projects and get updates, visit TexasStateParks.org/brighterfuture
Almost every state park and historic site in Texas has some important history buried in the ground. Meet the archeologists of Texas Parks & Wildlife. Their job is to dig into that history, and figure out what it means.
Many modern families have lost touch with the great outdoors and all it has to offer, but the Texas Outdoor Family program is here to help--getting folks with little to no camping experience outside for some weekend fun. To learn more about the Texas Outdoor Family program or to sign up for a future outing, visit: http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/tof
The big oak and pecan trees at Abilene State Park offer plenty of shade for visitors seeking a peaceful getaway. The park's historic swimming pool, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, has entertained generations of kids. And for a completely different experience, spend the night in one of the park's yurts. These round, tent-like structures are based on nomadic Mongolian dwellings dating back thousands of years -- only the park's yurts come with electricity. For more information, visit www.LifesBetterOutside.org.
Atlanta State Park, near the Texas-Arkansas border, sits along the shores of Wright Patman Lake. Caddo Indians once farmed this area. The lake offers excellent crappie, catfish and white perch fishing, along with swimming, boating and other water activities. The park's 90-foot hardwood and pine trees provide plenty of shade for hiking, biking and camping. And don't miss the dogwood blossoms in the Spring. For more information, visit www.LifesBetterOutside.org.
The crystal clear springs of Balmorhea State Park are an oasis in the west Texas desert. Located in the foothills of the Davis Mountains, Balmorhea offers visitors the unique opportunity to swim and snorkle in a natural spring-fed pool. The 1930s-era Spanish-style motel and bathhouse lend the park an old fashioned charm. For more information, visit www.LifesBetterOutside.org
Postcard From Texas: Stick your head underwater to see some of the endangered desert spring fish at Balmorhea State Park. Shot with a GoPro. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/
Gateway to the Desert Witness the creation of the Barton Warnock Environmental Education Center near Terilingua. We'll follow the creative process from beginning to end. It takes a lot more work than you'd ever imagine. Meet the minds behind this captivating exhibit space. Watch the Texas Parks & Wildlife PBS television show www.tpwd.state.tx.us/tv
Bastrop State Park, about 30 minutes southeast of Austin, is located in the famous "Lost Pines" area of central Texas. The park offers plenty of shaded hiking trails, a golf course and a paved cycling road that adjoins nearby Buescher State Park. The area is also home to the largest population of the federally endangered Houston Toad. For more information, visit www.LifesBetterOutside.org.
Postcard From Texas Bastrop State Park has a pool. Jump in.
Firefighters work to save Bastrop State Park in the "Lost Pines" area of central Texas near Austin and home to the endangered Houston Toad. More information at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20110906a
The smoke may be gone but the Bastrop fires of Labor Day weekend are still a smoldering concern for biologists. They're keeping tabs on the Houston Toad. And with only an estimated 2,000 left in Texas, this endangered species is facing its next challenge as the drought continues. More on Houston toads at http://www.houstonzoo.org/HoustonToad/
Bastrop State Park Rains. An update on the conditions at the park after heavy rains and flooding on January 26, 2012. Lots of erosion and work to be done. AmeriCorps workers cleaning out clogged culverts, building wind rows, and doing some great work. Yes, you can still got camping and hiking in some areas of the park. It's a good idea to call the park (512-321-2101) or check the website (www.tpwd.state.tx.us) before you visit. FriendsOfLostPines.org AmeriCorps.gov AmericanYouthWorks.org
[cc] The Friends of Bastrop State Park will be celebrating their annual Holiday in the Pines event on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009 from 1-6. For more information, visit http://www.friendsoflostpines.org/
After a wildfire in 2011, a crew from American YouthWorks helps restore a devastated Bastrop State Park, mirroring the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. For info about Bastrop State Park, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/bastrop Or to learn more about the Texas Conservation Corps: http://www.texasconservationcorps.org
The Battleship TEXAS is permanently anchored outside of Houston at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. Active during WWI and WWII, the TEXAS became the first battleship memorial museum in the U.S. Open for tours. For more information, visit www.LifesBetterOutside.org.
[cc] The historic Battleship TEXAS is decked out for the holidays, much like it was by troops of yesteryear. Come aboard during December to step back in time and learn some ship lore. The ship is located at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site near Houston. For more information, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/battleship_texas/
The engines of the Battleship TEXAS propelled this historic warship to North Africa, Normandy, Iwo Jima and Okinawa during WWII. They're the only surviving examples of reciprocating steam engines on a dreadnought battleship and the largest example of this engine type on a warship. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/battleship_texas/
In 2007, as part of Proposition 4, Texas voters approved a bond package that included $25 million to dry-berth the Battleship TEXAS as a major step toward long-term preservation of this historic vessel. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has signed a contract with AECOM USA Group, Inc. to design a permanent dry berth for the vessel before time and the elements scuttle the ship. Details at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/parks/battleship-texas-dry-berth-project/battleship-texas-dry-berth-project
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is headquarters of the World Birding Center, a chain of nature areas in the premier birding area of south Texas. For more information, visit www.WorldBirdingCenter.org
Big Bend Ranch State Park, the largest state park in Texas, encompasses over 300,000 acres of remote desert wilderness. Visitors have plenty of space for hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding and paddling the Rio Grande. More at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/big_bend_ranch/
The west Texas desert may look harsh but its unique plants are like nature's grocery store for the wildlife and humans who call the desert home. At first glance scrubby, thorny and spindly, Big Bend plants take on new beauty when you learn how to read them. Learn more about Big Bend Ranch State Park at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/big_bend_ranch/
Mountain Biking at Big Bend Ranch State Park is not for the faint of heart. The country is rugged and the trails can be challenging, but the opportunities are as boundless as the vistas.
The biggest state park in Texas just got even bigger. Big Bend Ranch State Park recently added 7000 acres, expanding public access to one of the last wild places in Texas. For more information about Big Bend Ranch State Park, visit www.LifesBetterOutside.org.