Take your family on a journey this spring and summer to some of the coolest outdoor sites in Texas, including 14 state parks. By participating in this year’s Texas Nature Challenge, families or teams visit certain sites throughout the state and record what they see, do or make.
Texas A&M Forest Service and other outdoor agencies, including Texas Children in Nature, organized TNC to help families discover amazing nature spaces within their communities. Children today spend an average of seven hours a day indoors and only minutes playing in nature, but research shows children are healthier, happier and smarter when they learn and play outdoors.
“Many people consider nature to be a far away place and don’t see it as something they have a daily connection with already,” said Jennifer Bristol, director of Texas Children in Nature. “TNC gives families a reason to get outdoors and learn what nature exists in their own community.”
To start completing challenges, visit the Texas Nature Challenge website to check out the challenges in your region. Then, register your team and start recording each adventure through a digital or handmade journal. Teams can win prizes for completing challenges at the closing ceremonies in each region.
Activities vary depending on what region. Here are some examples of the 70 plus challenges:
Dig for fossils at the Waco Mammoth National Monument and become a Junior Ranger.
Be a Citizen Scientist and report your firefly observations. Don't have fireflies near you? Follow their simple steps and see if you can attract them.
Follow clues to find hidden treasures in the letterboxes at the Austin Nature and Science Center.
Take a hike with a Naturalist and learn about the Bison and other wildlife at the Fort Worth Nature Center.
Discover the fun of science by trying out real experiments, design and build new creations, and check out dynamic performances each month with guest scientists, educators and artists at the Perot Museum.
This Challenge runs from- May 28 - August 27, 2016. The Challenge is a chance to spend quality time together while visiting different nature centers and parks in the Rio Grande Valley and, upon completion of the challenges, an opportunity to win cool prizes!
This Challenge starts in August and runs to November so stay posted for more adventures.