Connect2Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's mission is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

In fulfilling our mission, we will: Be a recognized national leader in implementing effective natural resources conservation and outdoor recreational programs; Serve the state of Texas, its citizens, and our employees with the highest standards of service, professionalism, fairness, courtesy, and respect; Rely on the best available science to guide our conservation decisions; Responsibly manage agency finances and appropriations to ensure the most efficient and effective use of tax-payer and user fee resources; Attract and retain the best, brightest, and most talented workforce to successfully execute our mission.


To see our scheduled programs go to Connect2Texas and select Texas Parks & Wildlife Department from the program filter.

Batty for Bats!

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Bats make up one-quarter of the mammal population and are very important to the environment. Did you know that a single bat colony can eat up to 25 tons of insects in one night? Join us as we explore bat species around the world and here in Texas, and learn about their habits and habitats.

Becoming a Citizen Scientist

Grades: 3-8

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


What if you find something outside but don’t know what it is? How do you find out? What if you could share that discovery with others to excite them about nature as well? Citizen science is one way to address each of those questions. One particularly useful tool is iNaturalist, an online network with an associated app for iOS and Android, where participants document all of the living organisms around them, share that data with the rest of the naturalist community, and learn a lot in the process.

Bird in Hand

Grades: K-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Park Ranger Craig Hensley from Guadalupe River State Park will present a live introduction to birds through a bird-banding demonstration with Q & A during the event. Students will see live songbirds as well as witness and learn about the science of bird banding.

Bug Picking

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Is the river dirty, clean, or somewhere in between? Join a ranger to look for, catch, and study small organisms that are found in and around a river. By identifying these organisms, we will learn about the health of our river environment.

Chainsaws & Wildflowers: Save the Prairie

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Join Park Ranger Kate to learn about the most endangered ecosystem in Texas: the Blackland Prairie. We'll go over the important plant species that make up a prairie, including its beautiful wildflowers, and also cover the ways conservationists are working to save them using methods like replanting, prescribed fire, and chainsaws.

Cowboy Christmas: Music & Poetry

Grades: 3-12

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Bring your whole grade level and experience Christmas cowboy style. Join park ranger and cowboy poet, David Owens, and cowboy singer, Steve Schick, ‘round the campfire for cowboy culture through music, stories and poems. During this program we encourage students to sing along! You can also experience Christmas in a state park by finding an event near you – go to our Holiday Event Calendar at TexasStateParks.org for more information.

Critter Roundup: Birds of Prey

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Join us for a close look at birds of prey with a live hawk in studio! Learn about the unique features common to all birds of prey, design your own raptor and discover the birds of prey in Texas. Humans and birds of prey have worked together for thousands of years. Falconry is practiced around the world and has a rich history and tradition. Falconry is recognized by UNESCO as a living human heritage. This presentation will include a closer look at Harris’ hawks, a native Texas species.

Critter Roundup: Slithering Snakes

Grades: 1-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Join Park Ranger Rick to get an up-close view of a native Texas snake! We'll discuss adaptations that allow snakes to live and thrive in their habitats, the importance of snakes to the ecosystem, and ways we can keep safe and respect snakes when we're exploring outdoors.

Critter Roundup: Squirrel School

Grades: Prek-2

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Park Ranger Katelyn Juenger from Cooper Lake State Park will be teaching squirrel school! Learn more about our East Texas squirrels and the not so carefree lives they live. We will also talk about the adaptations they have to help them compete with the other wildlife in the park and discover the important role they play in our environment.

Critter Roundup: Texas Sharks

Grades: 3-8

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Tune into a one of a kind presentation on all things SHARKy! Learn about the extreme diversity, unique anatomy, and overall biology of sharks with special emphasis on the sharks of Texas waters! Pictures and words can’t compete with the real thing, so prepare your senses for REAL sharks with REAL teeth right here in the lab!! Whether you love them, hate them, want to swim with them, or are scared of them… this interaction is sure to peak your interest and teach you a few things!

Dinosaur Track Talk

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Park Ranger Jenn Menge from Dinosaur Valley State Park will bring the past to life as we discuss Texas during the time of the dinosaurs. We will learn about dinosaurs that once roamed Texas by studying the tracks they left behind. We will all become paleontologists as we use these tracks to retell a story millions of years old.

Everyday Ninjas - Leave No Trace

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


This lesson will train little ninjas all about outdoor ethics and how to be one with their environment using the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. We will use different examples for each principle and exercise our critical thinking skills. We will see cause and effect relationships in action based on human behavior, from natural resource conservation and beyond.

Find Your Place in a State Park

Grades: K-2

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


We have over 95 state parks all across the state of Texas, just waiting to be discovered by YOU! Join us as we use maps, videos, and pictures to study the physical and human characteristics of a few parks in different regions of Texas. We’ll discuss and identify geographic location, landforms, bodies of water, natural resources, weather, and how all of those affect humans and what kinds of activities we can do at the parks. Come see why Life is Better Outside!

Home Improvement: The Beaver Pond

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


The often misunderstood rodent, the Beaver, changes its environment to meet its needs. See how these changes can benefit other wildlife as well.

In the Field with Migrating Monarchs

Grades: K-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Join Park Ranger Craig Hensley from a field of milkweed plants inside Guadalupe River State Park. In this LIVE program, he will be looking for eggs, larvae, and adult Monarch Butterflies to show students. In addition, he’ll discuss: the life cycle (metamorphosis) of the Monarch as it relates to its migration in general, and through Texas in Spring and Fall; its relationship with the milkweed plant; mimicry and warning coloration; predation; and the milkweed plant as its own mini-ecosystem. We can’t wait to catch some butterflies with you!

Insectigations

Grades: Prek-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Insects are among the most common animals on earth with nearly one million species known and many more yet to be discovered. Insects share many characteristics that make them unique creatures. We will capture and share a variety of insects commonly found at Guadalupe River State Park, from grasshoppers and butterflies to damselflies and dragonflies. Your students will learn about their adaptations, diversity and their oh-so-important roles in the natural world.

Living History: The Hospital at Fort Richardson SHS

Grades: 5-8

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Join us for the first installment of our living history series. We'll go back in time at Fort Richardson State Historic Site. Our stop will be the hospital, the largest building on the parade grounds near Lost Creek. Through storytelling, students will relive the life of the enlisted within the hospital's walls.

Outdoor Cooking for the Holidays

Grades: 3-8

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Join Texas Outdoor Family and experience how outdoor cooking can be a fun and easy way to enhance your holiday season! We'll talk about the history of the Dutch Oven, share tasty recipes you can make for your family this holiday season, and you'll get to see a demo of an easy-to-make tasty treat!

Seagrass Science

Grades: 4-6

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Seagrasses are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Join TPWD Coastal Fisheries staff to learn about Texas seagrasses. We will see each of the different seagrass species found in Texas bays and learn about why seagrass meadows are such an important habitat. We will discuss threats to these plants and what TPWD is doing to help protect them.

The Bright Side of Fire

Grades: 5-12

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


Join Park Ranger Danielle Bradley to learn all about prescribed fire! While fire may seem a little scary, it is actually very beneficial for our native plants and animals. Together, we'll learn about the fire triangle, observe a demonstration of fire behavior, and discuss ways fire benefits our environment.

Wetland Wonderment

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


VISTA member Kay Jenkins from the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center will present the wonders that can be found in freshwater wetlands. We will go on a virtual field trip to see a bog, marsh, and swamp and explore some of the plants and animals found in these habitats. We will learn about the values of wetlands for reducing pollution, flooding, and erosion and as habitat for aquatic wildlife.

Wringing-Wet Plants

Grades: 3-5

Cost: FREE

Length: 45 minutes


VISTA member Kay Jenkins from the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center will introduce us to some of the common plants found in freshwater wetlands. We will go on a virtual field trip to discover the different ways that plants live in wetlands (submerged, floating, emergent). We will learn about some of the adaptations that help aquatic plants thrive in wetlands and explore how some of these plants got their names.

Content Disclaimer
The views and opinions expressed are those of the contributing members of Connect2Texas and do not necessarily represent the views of the Education Service Center Region 11. While some content is deemed appropriate for various curriculum standards used by viewers nationwide, most content providers make an effort to tie their content to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).