Although it’s not fishing or hunting, it is a chance for the whole family to get into the Texas outdoors on Jan. 1.
Participate in a First Day Hike at a Texas State Park:
“The First Day Hikes initiative has proven itself as the ideal way for people to physically make a statement about trying to live a more active lifestyle in the New Year,” said Brent Leisure, Texas State Parks Director. “Texas State Parks are an ideal setting for achieving that goal and enjoying nature simultaneously, with the added benefit of spending time with family and friends.”
“Last year, we hosted a record-breaking 41,000 people who hiked 72,442 miles in our state parks across the country when we launched America’s State Parks First Day Hikes,” said Priscilla Geigis, President of the National Association of State Park Directors. “Think of it as the start of a new and healthy lifestyle, for the whole family. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day.”
As guided and self-guided hikes are going on throughout the day, some special events are taking place as well, including midnight hikes, runs, a polar plunge, paddling treks, and bike rides.
For background and First Day Hikes locater map, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/parkinfo/first_day_hikes/
Helping Texas ecology
The Audubon’s 116th Christmas Bird Count takes place between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. There are hundreds of different locations across the United States and in Texas.
Since the Christmas Bird count began over a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteers. Your local count will occur on one day between those dates. Participate in as many counts as you wish.
There is a specific methodology to the CBC, and all participants must make arrangements to participate in advance with the circle compiler within an established circle, but anyone can participate.
Each count takes place in an established 15-mile wide diameter circle, and is organized by a count compiler. Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It’s not just a species tally–all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.
If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.
Check out Audubon website for a bird count close to you.