November, 2020
Texas Children in Nature Quarterly Newsletter
It seems all of a sudden 2020 is almost gone. As we close out the year Texas Children in Nature has seen some great things happening. We are about to release our 2021 Strategic Plan, be on the look-out for that soon, we have successfully launched our virtual summit, and we have started our first big fundraiser - our $10/month campaign. We are thankful for all of you our partners as we finish up a crazy year - and we are looking forward to a wonderful 2021.

This quarterly newsletter will show off all the great work going on around the state as well as share some resources for all as we strive to encourage children and families to spend more time in nature.
Join us on December 2nd for our Virtual Summit Workshop: Birding in the Barrio. Register here:

Check out the full line-up on our website:
Calling all environmental educators, outreach coordinators and teachers. Join the City of Houston and educational partners in a workshop to build resources and opportunities for our youth regarding climate and resiliency. December 11, 9:00 - 1:00 (flex time built in), email with questions. 
OLE! Texas
In September the Council of Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Administrators released a position statement on nature-based early childhood education for all. The statement calls for a look at how changes towards more outdoor experiences for students is needed during not only this time of COVID but also for the overall good of all students.

Check out the full statement here.
Cities Connecting Children to Nature Austin
Tonight the Austin Youth initiative along with partners are hosting a webinar on the Indigenous Perspective on the Climate Crisis.

The Sacred Springs Powwow, celebrating Native American culture, has made a historic move to a virtual arena! The 5,000+ visitors to this annual event can see all the competition dancers, visit Native vendors, read powwow history on dances and fry bread recipes, and watch the grand finale video featuring nationally renowned powwow MC Tim Tallchief introducing contest winners from all over the nation. Visit
Through a unique partnership of multiple community partners, Virtually WILD! is a chance for children to connect live with a different conservationist each week across the Gulf Coast Region. They get a chance to meet wildlife (like flying squirrels) and ask questions. Join via Zoom or Facebook Live every Tuesday and Wednesday. Details

EcoRise: Climate in the Classroom Professional Development Series
Join EcoRise, experienced teachers, and community partners to explore resources and student-driven grant opportunities that can be used to shape students’ understanding of the causes and impact of climate change within their community. Through this interactive professional development series, teachers will access the tools that they need to help their students evaluate sustainability issues related to energy, transportation, waste, water, food, air, and public spaces to empower students to become a part of San Antonio’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). This training series is made possible through the San Antonio Office of Sustainability.

OLE! Austin - Sammy's House
Sammy’s House cares for children who are medically fragile and/or developmentally delayed in an inclusive environment. We practice a reverse inclusion model where 75% of our enrollment is children with special needs and 25% are typically developing peers. At this time 50% of our children are from economically challenged homes. In the world of adaptive education some of the first educational benefits taken away from our kids is math and science. Those are hard subjects on their own, but even harder when you have to differentiate so many different levels for one class. One characteristic that is prevalent in our students is behavior challenges. As children with special needs age, the world becomes harder and harder….except when they are in touch with their “creature identity”, because we all are living being of nature. Out in nature where the light is just right, the air is fresh things become wonderous. Each and everyone of us can become a scientist regardless of our unique abilities….and the world makes sense. 
 OLE inspired environments allows people like us to build a framework to efficiently construct and interpret our outdoor space from an education lens. Grass, plants, walkways create a STEM bulletin board for our teachers to work on.  Through our relationship with the OLE group, Sammy’s House was selected to host a design workshop as part of the OLE initiative and Texas Tech University. We in return received a formal design, one of which we could not afford on our own. Through the use of donations, volunteers and grant funding we are convinced that our children will have access to an OLE playground that will be modified to meet the needs of children with special needs. For us what is happening outside is just as important as what’s happening inside…. Afterall, we are all are living beings in nature.

Find out more about Sammy's House here:
Partner Spotlight - Lubbock Lake Historic Landmark  
Lubbock Lake Historic Landmark is a part of Texas Tech University in the high plains of Texas. The site tells the story of over 12,000 years of inhabitants along the lake, including history of the areas first peoples.

This great partner has served as our regional leader for the Caprock region, and we are so thankful for all their support.
Learn more about what Lubbock Lake Historic Landmark:
Texan by Nature
The Texan by Nature Conservation Wrangler program highlights the very best Texan-led conservation projects that demonstrate a positive Return on Conservation for people, prosperity, and natural resources. Texan by Nature selects six projects each year and provides a project leader over the course of 18 months to help the selected projects with strategic planning, marketing messaging, metrics capture and analysis, partnership development, as well as creating a professionally produced video for each project. Texan by Nature publicly announces projects annually on April 1st, and also highlights the projects at the annual Conservation Summit and Celebration. Applications open November 30, 2020 and close January 31, 2021. Contact for more information. 
Coastal Bend
B-WET Teacher workshop brought to you by Baylor University with online classes starting in January and culminating with a field experience June 16-18. Interested teachers are invited to apply to the Matagorda Bay B-WET program by Dec. 11 at It is a professional development opportunity for teachers whose purpose is to provide support for locally relevant, authentic experiential learning through meaningful watershed education experiences. Teachers receive CPE, participation stipends and funds for class projects.  Contact with any questions or issues with the application process.
Texas State
Texas State University is conducting a study on adult-child views of wildlife. Click on the link to test your family’s knowledge about Texas carnivores today!
Access Spotlight - Twelve Stones

Twelve Stones out of Conroe, Texas is working with the children of incarcerated parents to connect them with nature experiences. Youth involved in the program participate with leaders in activities such as camping, hiking and horseback riding on a large ranch outside of Houston.

Texas Nature Challenge is Back!

Stay tuned for dates to learn more.

If you are interested in being a nature challenge partner email Sarah.
TCiN Partner Job Postings
As many of our friends and partners are looking for their next opportunity we will share some postings that have been shared with us.

University of Texas Marine Science Institute - looking for a new Education Coordinator

Big Bend Conservancy - looking for a new executive director:

San Antonio Missions - are looking to fill two positions. A Community Volunteer Ambassador: and a dedicated Texas Conservation Corps Crew for the missions:

PEAS is looking for two Education Specialists:

Upcoming Regional Meetings
  • Austin: email Addie to find out more
  • December 14
  • Houston: email Amanda to find out more
  • Meets every other Friday
  • North Texas: Register on Zoom
  • January 20
  • Rio Grande Valley: email Bianca to find out more
  • December 15
  • January 19
  • February 23
  • San Antonio: email Thea to find out more
  • December 16
  • January 27
  • February 24

Interested in being included in the Winter Newsletter? Email Sarah at
Resource News
Equitable Park Funding Hub
This great resource is a place to find information on funding options for low-income communities and communities of color as they work to provide more access to nature through building greenspaces in their cities.

Storytelling and Nature Education

Article about using storytelling as part of your environmental education practice.
Donate to Texas Children in Nature
You can support Texas Children in Nature through an online donation