The Friends of Blanco State Park group is very fortunate to be the recipient of many wonderful donations from the community. These donations help to improve and protect the park’s natural beauty for our current enjoyment as well as the enjoyment of future generations. We are very grateful for the incredible donation made to the Friends group by the Blanco Non-Profit Coalition as a result of the wildly successful Wild Woman Weekend. Also, a big thank you goes out for the recent generous donation of Gatorade made by Mable Rollins of Hill Country Liquor to help keep park employees hydrated as they toil outside during these hot summer months. To all of our volunteers and contributors, we very much appreciate you!
It’s the dog days of summer, and although the park is bustling with visitors, many folks are escaping the heat and visiting cooler climes. This Master Naturalist did not escape the heat, but instead headed down to the Texas Coast with her 14-year-old niece to experience another type of public park, Padre Island National Seashore. We had to wake up at 5 a.m. to watch the release of hatchling sea turtles at the park, but it was definitely worth it to see about 90 hatchlings – they look like oreo cookies with flippers – make their way across the beach and disappear into the soft waves of the Gulf of Mexico. The hatchlings that survive will grow into 2-foot Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, the most endangered species of sea turtle. During the nesting season, volunteers and park employees scour the beach to find Kemp’s ridley nests in order to protect them from natural and human-related threats that could impact their survival. These coastal volunteers also had the fun task of shooing seagulls and crabs away from the hatchlings as they made their way to the ocean. Their conservation efforts have resulted in substantial population growth for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, which is very encouraging for the long-term survival of the species. Although we love our home-base state park, it’s always a joy to visit the other jewels in our public park system.
Teaser: Something BIG is coming to Blanco State Park in October. Stay tuned!
Nature Walk – August 9, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Birds at Breakfast – August 23, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Nature Walk – August 23, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
This monthly column is brought to you by the Friends of Blanco State Park, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and protecting the park’s natural beauty. It is easy to become a member of the Friends group. Just pick up a membership application at the park office, join us at one of our events, or call the park office at 830-833-4333.