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Texas Nature Projects Northpoint Ranch in Mason, Texas, the largest outdoor environmental laboratory in Texas, affords an opportunity to connect learning and life in meaningful and rewarding ways, developing skills and knowledge essential to sustainable leadership and engaged citizenship, while earning college course credit. Students from any post-secondary insitution in Texas and any major are welcome to join to earn experiential, service-learning credit. A generous grant from H-E-B Environmental Affairs, means we are able to offer these workshops currently at no cost to students. However, space is limited to 25 per workshop, so you must RSVP: email@example.com or 325-320-5251. Friends and family are also welcome to join.
Saturday, Feb 6  Land Management: Following Aldo Leopold's important work in A Sand County Almanac, this workshop addresses the principle that "We can be ethical only in relation to sonmething we can see, feel, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in... Land, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals... a slowly augmented revolving fund of life." Participants will learn about the land, water, flora and fauna, and participate in land management projects that help to restore and encourage the natural health and diversity of the land.
Saturday, Feb 13  FOOD! Ours is the only time in history, and the only species in the world that has to learn what is and what is not "food." Participants will visit a working cattle ranch, "Schep Creek Ranch" in Mason, to learn about the effects of organic and traditional cattle ranching on the land itself, the cows, the beef and the consumers. After lunch, students will participate in preparing organic vegetable gardens and composting.
Saturday, Feb 20  WATER! Participants will visit the Llano River with Lisa Benton of the Colorado River Watch Network, LCRA. Learn about hydrology, ecology, river basin management, water quality and water quantity, and how these practices affect all of us in our everyday lives. Chemical analysis performed on both ground and surface water sources. Visual evidence of health of the water also practiced. Service activities include picking up litter on the river.
Saturday, Feb 27  ARTIFACTS: NATURE AND CULTURE! with collector Wilburn Shearer. Learn about how culture develops around nature: local climate, geology, flora and fauna. Search for artifacts from indigenous peoples of the Hill Country. Grind corn with a metate and uno, practice flint napping. Muzzle loader demonstration.
Saturday, March 6  ART & AESTHETICS! Nature Painter Sue Kaan and Writer Curtis D'Costa. Experience the ways that nature has inspired all of the arts, literature, dance, music, painting and more, and why natural diversity is necessary to human beings for the healthy development of spirit as well as mind and body.
Saturday, April 17  SCIENCE! Psychologist Dr. Trish Vandiver will host a session that explores scientific method and other ways human beings come to know, animal minds and animal consciousness, and animal behavior, using the participants own observation skills with the domesticated horses, miniature donkeys, sheep and dogs, as well as whatever wild animals decide to join our company.
Fri, Sat and Sun, Apr 23, 24 and 25  Austin Green Living Expo: Participants will learn and then provide interactive learning experiences for children and families. Identification of native Texas wildlife, Dr. T's Lunchbox, Painting with Rocks, Painting with Fish.
Location: Except for the Austin Green Living Expo which is in downtown Austin, all workshops are in Mason, Texas. Leaving San Antonio, take I-10 west to Comfort, exit 523; take US Hwy 87 north/west to Fredericksburg; stay on Hwy 87 through Fredericksburg by taking a left turn onto Main Street; Hwy 87 north another 35 miles to Texas Nature Project's Northpoint Ranch, 3226 US Hwy 87 South (meaning 2.5 miles south of the town of Mason), Mason, 76856. 3226 is on the left side of Hwy 87, just past Comanche Creek, white pipe entry gate. From Austin, take 71 to Llano and follow 29 west into Mason. At the square, take a left turn to head south on Hwy 87; go 2.6 miles to 3226, on the right side, just before Comanche Cree.
Time: Workshops begin at 10:00 am, at Northpoint Ranch. If you leave from St. Mary's campus, the 100 mile drive will take two hours. Depart campus at 8:00am to arrive on time for guest faculty and activities. Each service-learning day is 6 hours - 10:00 to 4:00, and includes lunch and refreshments generously sponsored by H-E-B Environmental Affairs!! Participants are also encouraged to bring something to share - a snack, cookies, drinks, and also bring anything needed for individual dietary needs.
Clothing: Safety First! Wear closed-shoes with soles you can walk on easily. Wear long jeans - or a similarly protective fabric - that cover you legs and ankles completely. Layers on top for weather changes. Consider bringing work gloves, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant, allergy medication if needed. Watch the weather forcast.
Safety: Be aware that being outdoors exposes you not only to the wonder and beauty of the natural world, but requires that you are respectful of the many and varied things that live in nature, and have natural defenses against predators. The most dangerous predator to plants and animals in Texas is human beings. It is not surprising, therefore, that they have many defenses to protect themselves. Dressing well and being attentive and intelligent are your best plan.
|© 2007 Texas Nature Project | Northpoint Ranch, 3226 US Hwy 87 South, P.O. Box 300, Mason, TX 76856|
|Texas Hill Country Nature Project dba Texas Nature Project | 832-878-4141 & 325-320-5251 | firstname.lastname@example.org