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Thursday, February 20 • 9:30am - 10:30am
Diverse Programming to Ecotourism, Wildlife Viewing and Environmental Education in Nature: Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station

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Texas Tech University Llano River Field Station in Junction, Texas lies and serves as a destination for scientific land/water research, nature and ecotourism, watershed management, and education programs. In 2011, LRFS developed 3.2 miles of land trails bordering a 4-mile paddle trail that highlight different habitats of the Hill Country. The Discovery Point Trail, in partnership with National Park Service's RTCA, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, public/private stakeholder groups, is an interpretive experience: 1) through demonstrations of BMPs: native plant gardens, brush control, wildlife guzzlers, invasive-species management, riparian restoration and renewable energy technologies; 2) integrating K-12 watershed education with research programs at LRFS; and 3) educating about plants, bird, wildlife, invasive and trust species in the context of BMPs and demonstration projects. Future projects are prescribed burn and plant restoration/succession areas, riparian improvement projects and butterfly/Monarch gardens. The trail benefits state/federal staff, NGOs, teachers/students and ranchers, as LRFS hosts training workshops and scientific/educational conferences. New additions to our programming include a Texas Youth Deer Hunt, a spring birding festival with the South Llano River State Park, bird blinds, an updated web page, game cameras and our Outdoor School Curriculum Units that use the trail – benefitting more than 2,000 students and teachers a year. Learning objectives include: 1) nature trails facilitate ecotourism and environmental education; 2) principles of partnership science and engaged learning multiplier effects; 3) how broader impacts of research are embedded into public engagement; 4) how informal/formal STEM education is incorporated into trails; and 5) how interpretative nature trails provide rural-urban connections to cope with Nature Deficit Disorder.

avatar for Brett Mosley

Brett Mosley

Texas Tech University - Llano River Field Station
As Co-director of the Texas Tech Outdoor Learning Center, Brett is committed to getting children excited, engaged and reconnected to the natural world around them. The Outdoor Learning Center, within the Texas Tech Llano River Field Station in Junction, Texas, provides him with the... Read More →
avatar for Melody Plumley

Melody Plumley

Texas Tech University - Llano River Field Station
Melody Plumley is Co-director of Texas Tech Outdoor Learning Center at Texas Tech Llano River Field Station in Junction, Texas. She has been in the education field 17 years and enjoys teaching students about their natural environment. Melody is committed to engaging students to learn... Read More →

Thursday February 20, 2020 9:30am - 10:30am EST
Aurora Room

Attendees (4)