|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-10-28                                    |
|  This page contains only plain text, no HTML formatting codes.          |
|  It is not designed for display in a browser but for copying            |
|  and editing in whatever software you use to lay out pages.             |
|  To copy the text into an editing program:                              |
|    --Display this page in your browser.                                 |
|    --Select all.                                                        |
|    --Copy.                                                              |
|    --Paste in a document in your editing program.                       |
|  If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send            |
|  an e-mail to webtech@tpwd.state.tx.us and mention Plain Text Pages.    |

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ ]
Oct. 28, 2009
First North Texas Outdoor Expo Premiers Nov. 14
Inaugural event to feature more than 50 activities and exhibits
DALLAS, Texas -- The first ever North Texas Outdoor Expo will take place at the Elm Fork Shooting Sports facility in Dallas on Nov. 14, featuring activities such as fitness obstacle course, bicycling, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, archery, target shooting, rock climbing, and more.
The North Texas Outdoor Expo is the region's first of its kind in terms of size and diversity of activities. The expo will be divided into eight "villages," a fitness village, bike madness village, target village, nature's village, archery village, dog village, water village and fishing village. Each village, in turn, will feature several activities and exhibits, adding up to more than 50 distinct attractions. Children can experience a wide range of activities, and all are free for kids.
Organizers deliberately define "outdoors" broadly to encompass a range of nature-based offerings, including a nature village with a butterfly display, birds of prey, an exotic petting zoo, reptiles, bugs, dutch oven cooking expo, camping expo, orienteering experience and more.
The expo will be held at the Elm Fork Shooting Sports complex at 10751 Luna Rd. in Dallas from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shooting range will be closed during the event, except for the area where the target shooting activities will be held. The 500-acre property lies along the Trinity River just west of downtown, with wooded areas and multiple ponds, providing a rare natural landscape in an urban setting.
The event is being hosted by the Youth Target Foundation and Start Caring Wellness, a youth health organization fighting childhood obesity, with partner support from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Bass Pro Shops, Dallas Safari Club, Yamaha, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), Sun & Ski Sports, Texas Motor Speedway and Audubon Dallas.
Event organizers are seeking volunteers to help staff the event. Volunteers can sign up on the Start Caring Wellness, Inc. Web site.
The event is free for children ages 17 and under, with a $5 admission charge for adults and a $5 charge for parking. More information about the expo can be found on the Start Caring Wellness Web site and Facebook page.
On the Net:

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov; or Chris Holmes, 979.229.2886, chris.holmes@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Oct. 28, 2009
First Texas Geocache Challenge Debuts Nov. 1
Pilot Effort Will Test Way To Get People From "Online" to "Outside"
AUSTIN, Texas -- A new program at 12 Texas state parks aims to use technology to draw visitors into the outdoors. The Texas Geocache Challenge will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2010, challenging state park visitors to use Global Positioning System technology to find a cache of hidden rewards in each park.
Participating central and southeast central parks are Bastrop, Buescher, Government Canyon, Guadalupe River, Huntsville, Lake Somerville-Birch Creek, Lake Somerville-Nails Creek, Lockhart, McKinney Falls, Monument Hill-Kreische Brewery, Palmetto and Washington-on-the-Brazos.
"It's a good, healthy way to get out on the trails of state parks," said Chris Holmes, outdoor education coordinator for Texas State Parks. "We think it will be appealing to families, a really fun thing to do in a state park. The fun thing with the kids is that they literally get to find treasure, so we know they will be excited when they find the cache."
"Children today are very different from children of the past," Holmes explained. "They are much more technology-savvy, and our experience at park workshops for families has shown that the kids end up leading GPS activities. This is really using technology to be outside."
Participants can download a Texas Geocache Passport, as well as the coordinates of each of the caches, from the TPWD Web site. In each of the 12 parks a hidden box will contain small prizes, information about the park, a logbook for cachers to record their visit, and a paper punch unique to the park. Geocachers can use their GPS units to find the containers and then use the punch to mark their passports to verify their visit.
When geocachers have found all 12 boxes, they can mail the passport to TPWD, and the first 100 people to send in their passports will receive a commemorative geocoin. Other participants who finish will qualify for other prizes, such as a map of all 12 parks, Texas Geocache Challenge stickers and a certificate of completion.
The department also is making a low-tech version of the challenge available for visitors who don't own a GPS device. Outdoor sleuths can download written clues to each of the hidden caches from the TPWD Web site. The department also is working on a Facebook page and a Twitter feed to accompany the challenge, which will allow participants to post photos and descriptions of their adventures.
"We really want people to get outside, and this is another reason for people to go out to state parks, Holmes said. "It'll be a three-month pilot, and then we are going to evaluate it, and if it's as successful as we expect, it could go statewide within a year."
On the Net: