Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., May 28, 2003

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approve previous Committee Meeting minutes  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. TPWD Education Interpretation and Outreach Strategic Plan
Staff: Lydia Saldaña, Steve Hall
Committee Only
3. Other Business

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Outreach and Education Committee
April 2, 2003

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 2nd day of April 2003, there came on to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, in the Commission Hearing Room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 3:25 p.m. to wit:

Katharine Armstrong, Commission Chair
Alvin Henry, Committee Chair
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr.
Joseph Fitzsimons
Philip Montgomery
Donato Ramos
Kelly Rising, M.D.
Mark Watson, Jr.

II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES: Minutes approved.
Motion: Commissioner Angelo
Second: Commissioner Ramos


Mr. Cook, TPWD executive director, reported that we are clear (on the chairman’s charges).

2. BRIEFING – Chair Henry introduced the next item – the Status of the TPWD Outreach, Education and Interpretation Strategic Plan.
Lydia Saldana, Director of Communications, introduced herself and Steve Hall, Director of the Education and Outreach Branch. She turned it over to Hall.

Hall made a presentation on the status of the outreach, education and interpretation strategic effort and acknowledged Commissioner Armstrong and Commissioner Henry for personally addressing the first meeting of the Outreach and Education Advisory Committee held in January. He further recognized Dick Bartlett, chair of the advisory committee.

Hall noted that at the first advisory meeting members of the committee and TPWD employees were introduced to one another and briefed on the expertise/organizations represented in each of the committee members. The members were briefed on the many TPWD outreach, education and interpretation programs and major activities.

He mentioned that the date and location of the next meeting was April 17 at Sheldon (Lake Environmental Learning Center). The two purposes of the meeting was for advisory group members to discuss the strategic plan and for members to see, firsthand, the status of the construction at Sheldon– a TPWD outreach model learning and environmental center.

Hall noted that advisory committee chair Bartlett had appointed two sub-committees:

1. Outreach – chaired by Ramona Bass; met twice and scheduled to meet April 3; looking at key messages and outreach mission of the agency and of the state.

2. Education – chaired by Dr. Ron Howard, Texas Cooperative Extension; have not me; dealing with partnerships in formal education

He reiterated that we have an internal, interdivisional task force co-chaired by Hall and Bill Dolman of Parks (he asked Mr. Dolman to stand). The committee had met seven times since January and drafted the plan since then. The plan will carry TPWD the next 5-10 years and is currently being reviewed by TPWD executive management. After that it would go to the advisory committee members.

Specific components of the plan include:

Vision and Key Messages
Goals and Objectives
Implementation – beginning in FY04
Ensure compliance with Sunset requirements
Give us direction (long-term) such as what programs are funded, effective
Review and Assessment of Programs
Program organization, program goals and objectives and accomplishments
Time Schedule
Hall summarized by saying the plan outlines an effective; "business-like" approach to managing outreach, education and interpretation efforts at TPWD and through effective partnerships. The plan would be presented at the next commission meeting May 28th.

He entertained any questions from the committee.

HENRY: Called for questions or comments and then thanked Saldana and Hall

3. SHELDON LAKE OUTREACH PROJECT - Chair Henry asked Cook for a clarification of the Sheldon campaign – particularly in lieu of comments made regarding budgets and legislation (covered in earlier commission committee presentations).

COOK: Would happen (best to address) at end of the legislative session.

HENRY: When?

COOK: Last day of the session (in terms of funding)

HENRY: Discussed Sheldon Lake project; public solicitation, and decided to move the May 1st kickoff date to June 1st (or later)

COOK: Suggested that is would be a judgment call

HENRY: Affirmed that it would be

COOK: Stated that some campaigns such as the Nimitz bonds are being actively and currently pursued during the legislative session (so that we could address now)

HENRY: Suggested that in light of cutbacks, it would be awkward to proceed at this time

ANGELO: What is time frame for starting? He further suggested to Henry that he should start now, and then if funding changed, he could always shut down the solicitation effort.

HENRY: Said he would hate to shut down such an effort and stated that there was a half million dollars in the project already.

BORUFF: Commented that money allocated for Sheldon in the first issuance ($2.58 million) had already been committed through contractual obligation. Suggested Henry move forward because of the obligation.

HENRY: Stated that these were related to his earlier questions.

He summarized by stating that because of the support from Cook and Boruff and through his work with Lydia Saldana and foundation, the campaign to build the Sheldon Lake Environmental Learning Center received a grant to hire a project coordinator to conduct administrative activities to get the job done. He mentioned the outstanding group of people who have been recruited including former commissioners, Hershey, Dinkins, Ryan and Kelsey. He further mentioned that although Ryan is moving to Round Rock that he would continue to assist, especially when in Houston area.

Henry mentioned the following that are assisting him in the effort:

Elizabeth Ghrist (phonetic) - has agreed to co-chair the campaign with him. He stated that with her ties to the Bush family and her role on the executive committee (only woman) of the economic summit. She is a former commissioner in Harris County and has chaired campaigns for United Way, the Urban League, Red Cross and Center for the Retarded. She is currently chairing a $65 million campaign for Saint Thomas University.
Opheila Vanden Borsh (phonetic) - was (then) Governor Bush’s executive secretary.
Felix Fraga - a former city councilman and school board member and from one of the best-known families/people in Houston.
These three and Henry comprise the executive committee, an advisory committee, of the Sheldon Lake campaign effort.

Felix Cook - was deputy superintendent of schools in Houston.
Jerry Pate – owns Pate Engineering Company.
Eileen Lawal - wife of the largest black-owned business operation in Houston
Jack Blanton – chaired the board of Houston Endowment for a number of years; Endowment contributed a half-million dollars to the campaign.
Henry stated that they are refining the final list of members prior to printing stationary and beginning the solicitation campaign for Sheldon. He reminded the commissioners that although this wasn’t the best time to raise money; they would target their shots at the best possible times.

Henry said that Dick Bartlett and the Outreach and Education Advisory Committee were generally aware of the effort thus far and he further commented on the quality, enthusiasm of the members of that committee.

Henry stated that the Sheldon Lake document/folder had been prepared with the help of Saldana and her staff and is available for the campaign efforts. He had showed it to George Straight’s office that thought it was great.

Henry stated that May 1st would be the time when the first round of contacts would be going out and that he would try to make 100% of the presentations, schedule willing. He would rely heavily on Liz Ghrist who has been a leader in fund-raising, particularly in the nonprofit community in the Houston area. (He further recognized her talents and iterated his excitement for her and others being on board.)

He stated that they would go out with letters of interest May 1st and October 1st followed up by a second round next spring (2004). He stated that the funds can’t go on forever, however, and that they must be used wisely. He indicated that there would need to be other funds and follow-ups on resubmissions.

He summarized what an exciting project this is, for outreach and education and for programs of this nature for the entire state. Although it is Houston this time, it would be San Antonio and Dallas/Ft. Worth and the western half of the state later. He stated that he would continue to give the effort his very best.

ARMSTRONG: (After hearing Mr. Henry) Stated that Henry ought to start in May.

AVILA: Stated that Henry has already started.

HENRY: Invited all commissioners to assist where they could in the effort.

ARMSTRONG: Recognized Henry for being a committed commissioner in the project and said that it would result in a first-class education center for the children of Houston.

HENRY: Would give it our best shot. He recognized Chairman-Emeritus Bass and former commissioner Nolan Ryan for getting the ball rolling and getting him involved and further recognized TPWD staff for their efforts. He knew it would be fun and said the fun is going to get kicked into high gear come May 1st.

HENRY: Asked that the committee be closed.

Motion: Commissioner Avila
Second: (Commissioner Armstrong)

ARMSTRONG: Adjourned the meeting, but after recognizing Coastal Fisheries staff on the display in the lobby at TPWD headquarters.


Committee Agenda Item No. 1

Outreach and Education Committee
Chairman's Charges
May 2003

(This item will be an oral presentation.)

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Lydia Saldaña, Steve Hall

Status of the Education, Interpretation and Outreach Strategic Plan
May 2003

I. Discussion: Briefing on the highlights of the completed Strategic Plan for TPWD Education, Interpretation and Outreach Activities and Programs to be implemented in FY04. The plan was reviewed by the Education and Outreach Advisory Committee and includes key messages, goals, objectives and implementation strategies.

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