Outreach and Education Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 am, March 26, 2008

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

  1. Land and Water Plan Update
    Staff: Carter Smith
  2. Outreach and Education Programs
    Staff: Commissioner Martin, Lydia Saldaña
  3. Sea Camp
    Staff: Paul Hammerschmidt
  4. Texas Outdoor Family Program
    Staff: Ashley Mathews
  5. Fishing in State Parks Initiative
    Staff: Ann Miller

Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Carter Smith

Outreach and Education Committee
Land and Water Plan Update
January, 2008

I. Executive Summary: Executive Director Carter Smith will briefly update the Commission on the status of the agency's efforts to implement the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (the Plan).

II. Discussion: In 2001, the 77th Texas Legislature directed that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) develop a Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan (Tex. Park & Wild. Code §11.104). In November 2002, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) adopted the first Plan. A revised Plan was adopted by the Commission in January 2005. The Plan is available on the TPWD web site. Executive Director Carter Smith will update the Finance Committee on TPWD's recent progress in achieving the Plan's Goals and Objectives as they relate to the Outreach and Education Committee.

The Plan consists of 8 Goals and a total of 56 Objectives. The Goals stated in the Plan are as follows:

Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Commissioner Margaret Martin
Lydia Saldaña

Outreach and Education Committee
Outreach and Education Programs
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: At the January 2008 commission meeting, Chairman Peter Holt announced the appointment of Commissioner Margaret Martin as Chairman of the Outreach and Education Committee. Martin requested a briefing of agency outreach programs in February. She was briefed by agency staff on the myriad outreach programs across all TPWD divisions. She has requested an abbreviated briefing be provided to educate the rest of the Commission about TPWD outreach programs.

II. Discussion: TPWD believes that caring about our resources begins with citizens becoming involved. We envision a public that engages in responsible outdoor recreation and is knowledgeable about and supports quality habitat and wildlife management. TPWD outreach programs seek to get people involved with conservation by connecting them to the outdoors in a variety of ways. TPWD employees are specifically authorized in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code to provide education and outreach functions.


(a) Employees of the department through education and outreach shall:

(1) Expand the wise use and conservation of fish and wildlife resources; and

(2) Increase the participation in outdoor recreation, including recreational activities in urban areas consistent with the mission and goals of the department.

(b) The department may use money from any of the department's special accounts to pay for education and outreach activities performed by department employees or to provide grants for education and outreach activities to be performed by other entities.

(c) The department shall manage the outreach and education activities performed under this section to ensure that the activities:

(1) Are consistent with the department's mission and goals;

(2) Do not duplicate other efforts by the department or other entities;

(3) Provide a cost-effective method for reaching participants; and

(4) Can be effectively measured.

Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Paul Hammerschmidt

Outreach and Education Committee
Sea Camp
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: Coastal Fisheries Division staff will present an overview of the ocean awareness program called Sea Camp. Sea Camp is sponsored by the Texas Maritime Museum and is a collaborative effort of the Museum, Rockport Coastal Fisheries Division staff, Goose Island State Park, Fulton Mansion and the City of Rockport. Sea Camp consists of a series of weeklong sessions for youth exposing them to a wide variety of activities that provide awareness of the diversity of life in, the value of, and the vulnerability of the Texas marine ecosystem.

Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Ashley Mathews

Outreach and Education Committee
Texas Outdoor Family Program
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: Ashley Mathews, training specialist with the Urban Outdoors Program, will brief the committee on the popular and growing Outdoor Family program, a hands-on outdoor skills workshop developed to welcome new users to outdoor recreation and provide basic skills training. Key partners are local parks and recreation departments.

II. Discussion: The Outdoor Family program is patterned off the highly successful Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops (BOW) which TPWD has offered for the past 14 years. Research on the BOW format has proven that providing interested novice participants an opportunity to learn basic outdoor skills in a safe and supportive environment translates into outdoor recreation supporters and active users. To broaden the audience able to access this desired training, program staff modified the BOW model to reflect the needs of families with young children.

The Outdoor Family program is in its third year of existence and it has been met with enthusiasm from both participants and partners. In order to further TPWD's ability to provide the program, partnerships with municipal park and recreation departments have been developed. During the first year, a single Outdoor Family workshop was offered in September of 2005 and filled to capacity. In its third year, the program plans to co-host nine events across the state. Program management is forming partnerships internally with state parks eager to host events at TPWD facilities.

Events scheduled for FY08 include:

FY08 Events
Partner Date
City of Georgetown September 22-23, 2007
City of Waco October 13-14, 2007
San Antonio River Authority November 10-11, 2007
City of Temple March 29-30, 2008
City of Huntsville/Huntsville SP April 5-6, 2008
City of Kyle/Texas State University April 5-6, 2008
City of Missouri City April 12-13, 2008
San Antonio River Authority May 17-18, 2008
Tyler State Park June 4-5, 2008

Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Ann Miller

Outreach and Education Committee
Fishing in State Parks Initiative
March 2008

I. Executive Summary: With fishing as a gateway to outdoor experiences for many Texans, Texas Parks and Wildlife Angler Education works with many partners to break down barriers to fishing, particularly among urban youth and minorities. Our state park fishing initiative is geared to help break down those barriers by providing outstanding fishing venues, loaner equipment for fishing and instruction geared for youth, families, beginners and advanced anglers alike. This year, we will offer these special fishing events at 14 different state parks, hosting over 60 events from March through August.

II. Discussion: Three years ago, to address public requests for "Learn to Fish" classes and to promote Free Fishing in State Parks, our Angler Education program partnered with the State Parks Division to provide free fishing clinics at five state parks. Fishing Event Coordinators hired by park managers and paid by Aquatic Education through Sportfish Restoration dollars organized ten events that first year. The popularity of these events both with the public and with park staff grew as word got out and participant surveys revealed that we were indeed recruiting new anglers and new supporters of our state park system. This year, we will continue our free basic fishing clinics, flyfishing clinics and family-oriented fishing derbies, with a goal of reaching over 3,500 youth and adults who will help form the core of our future fishing enthusiasts and outdoor advocates.