Arts and Parks: A Picture-perfect Combination

Reach for the Sun, Sydney T, age 10, Pedernales Falls State Park Reach for the Sun, Sydney T, age 10, Pedernales Falls State Park

Spend your summer seeking inspiration in a state park! The Texas State Parks Youth Arts Contest runs May 1 through Nov. 1. Kids 19 years and younger can enter. Here's how!

Visit a state park and create a work of art, writing, photography, video or music inspired by nature. Then enter your work in the Get to Know Texas State Parks Contest. Enter as many categories as you like. Prizes include cameras, art supplies, state park swag and more!

To enter, go to the Get To Know contest page »

See last year's entries at the Texas State Parks Gallery »

Learn more about Arts in the Parks »

Park Pick: Galveston Island State Park

Beyond Shells and Surf

Hike Pick:  Island Trail at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

As the park ranger sets the scene, a young visitor at Galveston Island State Park rolls a die.

"During our imaginary apocalypse, you found something to eat before the zombie found you!" announces ranger Lisa Reznicek with a grin.

At the end of the game, she counts up the number of good and bad rolls for each person and hands out candy. Those who were lucky enough to mostly avoid the zombies receive more candy than those less fortunate.

It sounds like a crazy activity for a state park program, but Reznicek uses the game to help young people learn about nature. She helps them figure out if they have the skills needed to survive in nature if the zombies attack.

Read more in TPW magazine »

Hike Pick: Island Trail at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

Experience the Pineywoods!


Dick Mott's WildeSide PhotoGraphix

Bring all of your senses when you hike the .8-mile Island Trail at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park.

If you experience it with only your eyes, you will miss the sounds of water lapping against the cypress knees, cricket frogs chirping, and blue herons squawking. Pay attention to the texture of the pine and beech trees around you, and the sandy soil beneath your boots. If you time it right, you'll catch the citrus scent of the southern magnolia blossoms.

You'll love this multi-sensory tour through the Pineywoods of East Texas!

Outdoor Activity of the Month

Picnic in Texas State Parks

Picnic in Texas State Parks

Spread out on a blanket, relax at a table, or cook on a grill. Food tastes better outside!

Pick a picnic recipe »

Come to a cooking event »

Bring a bigger group »

Pin your favorites »

Spotlight on Texas Parks & Wildlife

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