|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2005-08-15                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
Aug. 15, 2005
Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo Debuts New Activities Oct. 1-2
AUSTIN, Texas -- New exhibits and activities about springs, rivers, bays and beaches; wildlife conservation; Texas history at state parks; nature photography and more will debut Oct. 1-2 at America's largest free, family-oriented festival of the outdoors. The 14th annual Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo will allow tens of thousands of visitors to try fishing, shooting, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing and more, all at no cost.
The Expo began in 1992 as a tribute to the role of hunters in wildlife conservation, and it still promotes that tradition as a central focus. Today, it includes fishing, state parks, Texas history and almost everything else in the world of natural and cultural resource conservation and recreation. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department produces the event, which remains free to the public through sponsor support.
This year, more than a half dozen new activities will add to the sprawling diversity of the state's largest outdoor event.
This year at Expo TPWD will also unveil "Life's Better Outside," a new slogan developed for TPWD by GSD&M, a nationally regarded advertising agency based in Austin. This slogan is part of a broader creative outreach campaign that the advertising agency developed for TPWD pro-bono. "Life's Better Outside, and if you don't believe it, come to the Expo," said Ernie Gammage, TPWD Expo Director.
Photography returns for the second year with two new free workshops per day from expert Arthur Morris. This free-lance nature photographer and writer specializes in birds. In 1995, he became a Canon contract photographer, part of their "Explorers of Light" program. Morris has published more than 11,000 photographs and he photographs, travels, speaks, and teaches extensively across North America. Also in the photo area, visitors will be able try out the latest gear, from the basics to high-end. Photography activities will again take place near the beautiful wetlands area, where visitors can take and print digital photos. Lenses, video equipment, printers and binoculars will also be on hand to try, provided by Canon, sponsor of the photo area.
A completely revamped Hunting and Wildlife Management area will showcase the five basic tools of habitat management-axe, cow, plow, fire and gun. Large photos on eight-foot banners will be grouped into new kiosk exhibits. One set will cover the five tools, with others about private land conservation, public hunting and wildlife management areas. A new "Living With Wildlife" exhibit will show how people can safely coexist with wildlife, including tips for homeowners. A rainwater simulator will show how rain on well-managed land percolates slowly through the soil, making connections between rural land management and water and air quality that affects all Texans.
Visitors can travel an entire watershed in the new "Texas Water Ways: Ranches To Reefs" area. They'll hear the sounds of trickling springs, rushing rivers and crashing surf as they move through the tent with exhibits about freshwater springs, rivers, and lakes, then on to coastal bays and estuaries, Gulf beaches and out to deep water reefs.
A "dive master" will lead visitors through the Blue Room in a simulated undersea exploration of a model of the Flower Gardens, a famed natural reef favored by Scuba divers about 100 miles offshore. Along the way, they'll learn about challenges and choices facing Texans regarding our most precious natural resource.
Other new activities include an exhibit on the world's tallest freestanding masonry obelisk, the San Jacinto Monument, and a new air gun challenge where visitors can try shooting and see demonstrations by three-time Olympic gold medallist Kim Rhode.
Expo has other opportunities for visitors to try their firearm, crossbow and archery skills. Participants must first attend the short Shooting Safety Orientation at the Expo, which imparts safe and ethical practices.
Those who want to keep cool in the Texas heat may check out the fishing and aquatic events. Thousands of children catch their first fish at Expo each year, with bait, gear and guidance provided. Coastal touch tanks allow visitors to get up close and personal with live marine life. There's also a boater safety program and an 8,100-gallon square-foot tank aptly named "The Wet Zone" where Expo visitors can try kayaking.
In the State Parks area, visitors can learn how and where to camp, rock climb, mountain bike and more. History comes alive as participants in period costume come from state parks across Texas to showcase life in various eras.
Law Enforcement exhibits allow visitors to meet game wardens, look at confiscated illegal hunting and fishing equipment, and learn about the laws of the land. The popular "Who Dunnit" activity puts visitors in the roles of game wardens, trying to spot violations committed by wardens posing as lawbreakers in a mock hunting camp.
All events are free, as are water and air-conditioned shuttle service and parking. Although food may be brought in, coolers are discouraged because of the long walk to the fair grounds. There will be special shuttle service within the fair grounds for people with disabilities. And sorry, no pets allowed. Fido might scare the wild animals or be scared by the noise. Visitors need only bring cameras and sunscreen - a little cash can be handy to buy food or outdoor gear and apparel.
Major Expo sponsors this year are: Anheuser-Busch, Canon, Clear Channel radio in Austin, HOLT CAT, La Invasora radio, The Dow Chemical Company, Time Warner Cable, and Toyota. Other sponsors include Academy Sports & Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Careco Multimedia, ChevronTexaco, Mossy Oak Apparel Company, Sportsman's Warehouse, Arby's of Central Texas, Austin Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Boone & Crockett Club, CEMEX, Lower Colorado River Authority, McBride's, Omni Austin Hotel-Southpark, Shikar Safari International Foundation, Temple-Inland, Weatherby Foundation International and Winchester Energy Company, Ltd.
Out-of-towners looking for a place to stay during Expo can call the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau at (512) 478-0098 for hotel and motel information. To make reservations at a Central Texas state park, call (512) 389-8900 or book online.
There is limited free parking near the grounds, but the best way to get to the Expo is to catch a free shuttle bus. If rain shuts down on-site parking, all visitors must park at Highland Mall near the intersection of I-35 and Highway 290. Buses run from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
For more information about Expo, including maps and directions, visit the TPWD Web site or call (800) 792-1112.
On the Net:
This release in Spanish: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20050825b

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Aug. 15, 2005
Civilian Conservation Corps Vets To Gather At Garner State Park
CONCAN, Texas -- Dozens of surviving members of a unique American fraternity that planted billions of trees, stocked almost a billion fish and developed 800 state parks will kick up their heels and reminisce about their days in the Civilian Conservation Corps during a two-day reunion at Garner State Park.
Billed as "A Dance to Remember," the CCC reunion will take place Sept. 16-17 on the banks of the Frio River at Texas' most popular camping park. Garner State Park is renowned for its beautiful Texas Hill Country scenery and its nightly dances each summer at the rock concession building constructed by the young men of CCC Company 879 in the late 1930s.
"We're the only state park with a CCC pavilion that still uses it for dancing," park manager Craig VanBaarle.
Reunion festivities will begin at 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16 with registration and the recording of oral histories of the "CCC boys" whose average age is 86, followed by a bus tour of the 1,484-acre park. The day's activities will conclude with a 6 p.m. program to honor the CCC veterans and a dance at the dance pavilion, which is built of native limestone and cypress. Highlighting Saturday's schedule will be hayride tours of the park and 5 p.m. spaghetti supper with cowboy music and poetry.
"All CCC veterans, including those who've worked in any CCC camp in the nation, as well as their families and the general public, are invited to attend," said TPWD's Janelle Taylor, who is coordinating the event. "We who enjoy our parks today owe a debt of gratitude to these hard-working, talented men who built the backbone of our Texas state park system."
One of the CCC alumni who will be attending the reunion is Henry Trees, who served at Garner in 1941. Trees served as a carpenter, helping to build cabins and other park structures. He also hung the iron chandelier still hanging in the concession building next to the famous dance floor.
Taylor suggests that those CCC veterans wishing to attend should contact her to receive an invitation that includes lodging options and other reunion details. She can be reached by calling (512) 389-4665 or via e-mail at Janelle.taylor@tpwd.texas.gov.
New this year, Taylor said, will be a re-enactment to portray some of the skills training that took place at the more than 4,000 CCC camps in the United States. TPWD employees will portray the LEMs (Local Experienced Men), who were hired to teach the young CCC workers how to use various tools and do various kinds of construction. Young men and women from the AmeriCorps, a national volunteer service program, will play the roles of the CCC workers learning how to use such antique tools as the two-man band saw and an adz, an ax-like tool.
A total of 50 young men and women between the ages of 17 and 25 from American YouthWorks in Austin employed in the Environmental Corps and Casa Verde Builders service programs funded by through AmeriCorps will visit Garner State Park. Some of the AmeriCorps workers will participate in the CCC re-enactment, while others will arrive earlier in the week to work on hiking trails, park cabins and do general maintenance in preparation for the reunion.
At Garner State Park, the skilled craftsmanship of the CCC workers is evidenced not only in the rock concession stand, but also in the park manager's residence, numerous rock culverts, more than 10 miles of trails cut through the lush Frio River valley and park cabins that feature ornamental metal hinges and latches.
Garner State Park is one of 31 CCC-built Texas state parks operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It was named for Vice-President John Nance Garner, a Uvalde County native who was known as "Cactus Jack." Other popular CCC state parks include Balmorhea, Bastrop, Caddo Lake, Davis Mountains, Inks Lake, Longhorn Cavern and Tyler.
From 1933-1945, thousands of young men between the ages of 17 and 25 worked in more than 150 CCC camps scattered throughout Texas. The CCC in Texas developed not only state parks, but also Big Bend National Park, two national forests, El Paso's Franklin Canal System and dozens of city and county parks.
The Garner gathering follows a CCC reunion held last year at Caddo Lake State Park and one at Bastrop State Park in 2003 to mark the 70th anniversary of the CCC's creation by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide jobs to millions of young men during the Great Depression. The City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department will host the 2006 National CCC Reunion next year.
Garner State Park is located 31 miles north of Uvalde on Ranch Road 1050, just off U.S. 83, halfway between Leakey and Concan. For more park information, call (830) 232-6132.

[ Note: This item is more than 12 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [KE]
Aug. 15, 2005
Stay Tuned
Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife is available on radio and television, as well as the newsstand.
Passport to Texas, TPWD's radio series of weekday, 90-second stories, is broadcast on more than 100 Texas stations. Airing this week, who says $10 dollars doesn't buy much anymore? Linda Campbell explains how handing over your Hamilton could win you some big time Texas hunts! Plus state parks are on the lookout for talented, helpful people. TPWD volunteer coordinator Carolyn Gonzales tells us about the opportunities. And before you bait that hook, before you cast a line, fish for a free Outdoor Annual. TPWD Chief of Fisheries Enforcement Bill Robinson reels in the details.
For more information, visit the Web.
Video News
TPWD provides video news reports that run in newscasts on numerous Texas stations, as well as on cable and satellite outlets around the nation.
"Texas Parks & Wildlife" is a weekly half-hour television series seen on PBS affiliates around the state. For more information about this week's programs and where they can be viewed, visit the Web.
Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine is always available on newsstands throughout the state and by subscription for $19.95 a year. To subscribe, call (800) 937-9393 or order online.
On the Net:
Passport to Texas: http://www.passporttotexas.org/
TPWD on PBS: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/tv/
TPW Magazine: http://www.tpwmagazine.com/