Houston’s 5th annual Free, Family-Oriented Festival of the Outdoors
At a time when people in big cities are becoming increasingly disconnected from the world of nature and the outdoors, Take Me Outdoors Houston on Sept. 14 at Discovery Green offers a free, family-oriented festival to help urbanites in Texas’ largest city get back to nature.
Now in its fifth year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department event enlists multiple partners who provide hands-on activities, booths and opportunities to engage audiences who haven’t ever or don’t often get exposure to the great outdoors, especially the parks and other resources located right in Houston’s big backyard.
“By introducing urban adults and kids to outdoor recreation, our woods and waters and natural places become more relevant and important to them,” said Heidi Rao, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hunter education specialist in Houston. “We believe recreation leads to conservation. If they’re out there enjoying the natural world, they come to care about it and finally to care for it.”
Take Me Outdoors Houston will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at Discovery Green, a 12-acre park created by a public/private partnership between the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy. The park’s mission is to provide a beautiful, urban green space in the heart of Houston that serves as a village green for the city. It is located across Avenida de las Americas from the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Hilton Americas Hotel, sitting between the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park. Since the park opened in April 2008, it has welcomed more than 5 million visitors and hosted more than 2,000 public and private events.
Take Me Outdoors Houston includes a variety of exhibitors clustered in topical zones and a wide range of activities, including but not limited to:
The Nature & Environmental Zone will include a Rock Climbing Wall; TPWD’s State Parks Division, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program, and Urban Outdoor Program; Katy Prairie Conservancy; Student Conservation Association; Armand Bayou Nature Center; Wetlands Center and Baytown Nature Center.
The Hunting & Wildlife Conservation Zone will include TPWD’s Hunter Education Program & Instructor Association, Spanish Hunter Education Program, Youth Hunter Education Challenge; SCI Houston’s Sensory Safari; and Texas State Rifle Association & air gun booth.
The Fishing & Aquatic Conservation Zone will include TPWD’s Coastal and Inland Fisheries Divisions, TPWD Angler Education Program with Backyard Bass casting, Texas Toyota Bass Classic booth & Neighborhood Fishing program; Texas Coastal Watershed Program; and Landry’s Downtown Aquarium.
There will also be two educational demonstrations of live hawks and other raptors in flight by master falconer John Karger of “Last Chance Forever – the Bird of Prey Conservancy.” Flying demonstrations will be at 11 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
Visit the calendar of upcoming events on the Discovery Green website for more information on Take Me Outdoors Houston.
Logo courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife