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Nature Challenge seeks to get families outdoors, learning and playing together
Aug 02, 2014 | 387 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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With the school year starting up and the dog days of summer waning, now is the time to get your family outside and reconnected with nature.

Don’t let your kids park themselves on the sofa. Turn off the TV and power down the laptop. It’s time for Texas Nature Challenge 2014.

The program encourages families to spend their time together outside, active and learning about their local nature spots – completing challenges along the way.

“With the emphasis today on keeping kids and families on the go and outside, what better way to spend time together is there than to visit our local nature areas and learn about our natural resources in Texas,” said Texas Forest Service Conservation Education Coordinator Leslie Kessner.

Coordinated by Texas Forest Service, the contest calls for families to visit designated nature sites across the region in which they live, completing challenges at each site. Participating families are eligible to win prizes.

Coastal Bend Nature Challenge begins with an opening ceremony 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor. Challenges, broken into three age-appropriate tiers, continue through Nov. 8. Visit http://naturechallenge.tamu.edu to see participating sites and get an idea of the challenges from other regions.

For information on the statewide Nature Challenge events, contact Leslie Kessner, conservation education coordinator, at (979) 458-6600 or lkessner@tfs.tamu.edu.

In order to participate in Texas Nature Challenge: Coastal Bend Region you must:

1. Register to participate by going to: http://naturechallenge.tamu.edu and signing up or attend opening ceremonies on Aug. 23 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor

2. Complete as many challenges as you like between Aug. 23 and Oct. 27.

3. Document your experiences in a scrapbook, nature journal, field notebook, Texas Nature Challenge blog or other collection. The minimum requirement for submissions is turning in the completed challenge worksheets from the website. Be as creative as you like in presenting your documentation.

Some families have turned this into a school assignment with a straightforward field journal with pictures and writing entries, others make a binder showing off their work, and others create full scrapbooks of their adventure.

The Texas Nature Challenge website also offers the opportunity to blog about your experience. You can choose to blog and also submit a book; or just blog about your experiences and turn a copy of them in for the judges.

4. Turn in your documentation to any of the following locations: the Corpus Christi, Rockport, or Port Aransas Visitor’s Bureau by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27.

5. Attend closing ceremonies on Nov. 8 at the Wetlands Education Center (UTMSI, Port Aransas) from 10 a.m.-noon to receive prizes, meet other families and see what everyone turned in.

Prizes are awarded in various categories including: Most Challenges Completed, Best Blog, and Photography Award.

Previous awards also included: Most Creative, Best Storytelling, Best Kid’s Art, Funniest Scrapbook and others.

Any questions, contact Sara Jose at sjose@cbbep.org or (361) 673-6829.
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