Texas State Parks
You, too, can be inspired by nature.
Take a photograph, paint a scene, craft a haiku or poem, film a tribute, or compose a song based on your experience at a state park.
Get outside, use your imagination, and create!
Download a 2016 Calendar, featuring winning entries from the 2015 Get To Know Contest.
Sunflower Rabbit by Yolanda C., 15, Big Bend Ranch State Park, First Place
Kids 19 and younger can enter the “Get to Know” Texas State Parks Youth Arts Contest! The contest has five categories, each with its own rules and prizes. You can enter as many categories as you want.
First, visit a state park! Create an original work of art, writing, photography, video or music inspired by what you see there.
Next, submit your work on Get to Know's contest page. Look for instructions on the left side of the page under “Easy Steps to Enter.” Be sure to tag your entry with the name of the park that inspired it. Your entry will appear in the Texas State Parks Gallery.
Prizes in the national “Get to Know” contest include digital and underwater cameras, camcorders, art supplies, binoculars, fishing rods, writing supplies and more. Texas State Parks will award Junior Ranger daypacks, caps and water bottles!
Prickly Cactus at Sunset by Joel P, 7, Lake Somerville State Park, Third Place
“There's a simplistic beauty about being outside. Crashing through the forests. Sloshing through the streams. Sleeping under the dazzling stars that unfailingly make you ponder the meaning of life. It's moments like these where we feel truly connected to nature.”
True Beauty, by Natalie D., age 17, Lost Maples State Natural Area
From kids’ activities to photography workshops, you can find an art event that interests you at a nearby state park!
Palo Duro Canyon by Champ T, 13, Second Place
- “Get to Know” - Free, park-based art activities, lesson plans, games and more.
- Outdoor Kids: Arts and Crafts
- Outdoor Kids: Color Your World – coloring and activity books.
- Nature Rocks: Activities
- Start with the Arts at Home – Encouraging reading using the arts.
Other arts organizations and information:
- Texas Commission on the Arts
- VSA Texas – the state organization on arts and disability
- Texas PTA – Arts in Education program
- Texas Education Agency – Fine Arts TEKS
- ARTreach – nonprofit arts educational outreach for Houston and the Fort Bend County area
- National Endowment for the Arts
These are samples of the 2015 contest entries.
See a special collection of high school students' artwork inspired by Big Bend Ranch State Park.