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Lake Whitney State Park to Host Guided Nature Walk on March 9th

Lake Whitney State Park to Host Guided Nature Walk on March 9th

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –Lake Whitney State Park is hosting a guided nature walk on March 14th, 2015 from 10:00 until 11:30 a.m. on the Two Bridges Trail, next to the Recreation Hall.

The theme of the hike will be related to health and present the start of the 2015 Lake Whitney Wellness on the Rocks Programs.  The topics will include local flora and fauna that could potentially contribute to or take away from human health, managing natural resources for ecosystem health and a discussion of how state parks can contribute to physical fitness and wellness.

According to Park Superintendent Luke Stucker, “Many of us begin each New Year with health and fitness related resolutions, and hiking is a great way for families to meet those resolutions together. However as we progress with our daily routines we often loose site of those goals. Studies have shown that hiking has a positive effect on weight management, decreasing hypertension and improving mental health.”

Lake Whitney State Park offers two hiking trails, the 1.1-mile Towash Forest Trail and the .9-mile Two Bridges Trail.

Stucker advises that the State Parks Trails Improvement Program has agreed to support Lake Whitney State Park by developing additional recreational trails over the next two to three years.  Stucker estimates that the additions to the trail system will range between 3 and 6 miles of additional trails within Lake Whitney State Park.

The guided hike is free for any participant who has a valid entrance permit for the day.  Entrance permits are available from Park Headquarters for $5.00 per person for everyone 13 or older.  Children 12 or under are free.  Entrance fees are also covered by a valid Texas State Parks Pass.

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations. For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Luke Stucker, (254) 694-3793, email –Luke.Stucker@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

 

FIRST DAY HIKES LAKE WHITNEY STATE PARK

Lake Whitney State Park Offers New Year’s Day Guided Hike

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –  Lake Whitney State Park will offer a guided nature hike on New Year’s Day from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.  Participants will meet at the trailhead for the Two Bridges Trail, next to the Recreation Hall.

          The hike will be Lake Whitney State Park’s contribution to the nationwide First Day Hikes program.  First Day Hikes brings awareness of healthy lifestyle alternatives that include state parks.  This program is directed by the National Association of State Park Directors.

          The topics of the guided hike will include local flora and fauna, as well and a discussion of how state parks can contribute to physical fitness and wellness.  According to Park Superintendent Luke Stucker, “We hope that park visitors and our neighbors will join us in starting the New Year off on the right foot by joining us for our First Day Hikes program.  This is a great opportunity to take part in an activity, work off holiday food and meet like-minded people in a beautiful natural environment.”

          The guided hike is free for any participant who has a valid entrance permit for the day.  Entrance permits are available from Park Headquarters for $5.00 per person for everyone 13 or older.  Children 12 or under are free.  Entrance fees are also covered by a valid Texas State Parks Pass.

          Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

                        For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Luke Stucker, (254) 694-3793, email –luke.stucker@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

Lake Whitney State Park Public Lands Hunt

lwstatepark

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –  Lake Whitney State Park will be closed to public use from Monday, December 8th  until Friday, December 12th at 2 p.m. for the first of two annual Public Lands Hunts.

The Public Lands Hunt is a critically important resource management tool to maintain the white-tailed deer population at a healthy and sustainable level.

According to Park Superintendent Luke Stucker, “in the absence of historical predators, white-tailed deer populations can quickly grow to exceed the carrying capacity of the landscape.  Carrying capacity is the maximum number of animals of a given species that a unit of land can support without degrading the ability of that land to support the population in the future.”

The Lake Whitney State Park Public Lands Hunt is done by drawing.  The Public Hunting Drawing System provides low-cost, high-quality public hunting opportunities throughout the state. Individuals are drawn for a Special Permit by random computer selection from a qualified pool of applicants.

“At Lake Whitney State Park, the Public Lands Hunt is driven by safety.  Hunters arrive at a specified time.  Our park rangers drop hunters off at assigned blinds, and hunters are given specific firing lanes.  Hunters must stay in their blinds until our staff picks them up again at another specified time.  Public safety is our number one priority,” Stucker said.

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Luke Stucker, (254) 694-3793, email –luke.stucker@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

Stucker Selected as Lake Whitney State Park Superintendent

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas – Region 5 State Parks Director Rodney Franklin recently announced that Luke Stucker has been selected as the new Park Superintendent for Lake Whitney State Park. Stucker’s official start date in his new role began on July 1st.
Stucker is a native of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He has a degree in Land Use from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Stucker brings a wealth of valuable experience to Lake Whitney State Park, including an internship with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and a season as a Title 33 Limited Commission Boat Ranger with Colorado State Parks. Stucker began his career with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department as an hourly Maintenance Assistant at Mother Neff State Park. Since November 2012, Stucker has served as Assistant Superintendent of Lake Whitney State Park.
During his law enforcement commission process, Stucker graduated as valedictorian of his Basic Police Officer Academy, and he was selected by his peers as the recipient of MCC’s Spirit Award. The Spirit Award is given to the cadet who shows greatest character, attitude and leadership aptitude.
Stucker was also a recipient of a 2013 State Parks Division “Stars in the Parks” award in recognition of his commitment to mission, leadership and diligence.
“I am excited to continue my service to visitors to Lake Whitney State Park as Park Superintendent. This opportunity is an exceptional next step in my professional career with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department,” said Stucker.
According to Regional Director Rodney Franklin, “We are very pleased to announce Luke Stucker’s selection as Park Superintendent. Luke has served the park admirably as both Assistant Superintendent and Interim Park Superintendent. I have nothing but optimism for the future of Lake Whitney State Park under Luke’s leadership. ”
Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.
For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Rodney Franklin, (254) 867-7961, email –rodney.franklin@tpwd.state.tx.us, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

 

 

Lake Whitney State Park Hosts Successful Hip Hop Workshop

South Dallas Cultural Center participants engage in the Oh, Deer! game as part of the  Arts in the Parks Hip Event at Lake Whitney State Park

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –Texas Parks & Wildlife Department staff hosted a group of teenage children for an Arts in the Parks Socially Conscious Hip Hop Workshop at Lake Whitney State Park on Saturday, April 19th in celebration of National Poetry Month.

Ten children and three adult chaperones from South Dallas Cultural Center spent the day at Lake Whitney State Park.  The workshop featured a van tour of the park, a guided nature walk, environmental education activities and time to write and present conservation-inspired hip hop poetry under the coaching of poet KD Brown.

“Socially conscious hip hop” is a genre of hip hop based on themes related to social issues or conflict.  This form of poetry aims to subtly inform the public about social issues and lead them to form their own opinions.

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department official Chris Bishop, “We’ve been looking forward to this program for months, and the results exceeded our expectations.  The children from South Dallas Cultural Center are exceptional.  These children fully engaged the event and put forth their best work on everything that we asked of them.  The poetry that they shared at the end of the day was both beautiful and inspiring.”

The South Dallas Cultural Center is a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, a member of the Dallas Art Dealers Association and a partner in the National Performance Network.  The South Dallas Cultural Center offers a wide variety of visual and performing arts events and youth programs featuring creative, fun and educational activities for children.

“It may be trite to say ‘it takes a village,’ but that certainly applies to this program.  This Arts in the Parks program, part of National Poetry Month, was made possible by the enormous contributions of our brothers and sisters in the Region 5 State Parks Office and Lake Whitney, Dinosaur Valley and Meridian State Parks,” said Bishop.  “Additionally, Brookshire’s of Whitney contributed drinks and snacks for the children, Lake Whitney Chamber of Commerce provided welcome packets and American Self Storage of Whitney generously sponsored a lunch meal at the Texas Country Café for both the children and event facilitators.  We are fortunate to have generous friends, both in our community and in Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.”

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

                             For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Luke Stucker, (254) 694-3793, email –luke.stucker@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

Lake Whitney State Park Hosts Zumba Program on April 5th

The State Parks Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a new initiative called Arts in the Parks.  The goal of this program is to provide diverse opportunities to Texans of all ages to get outside, use their imagination and connect with the outdoors though art.  Through this initiative, we could say that the state park setting serves as muse for artists.  Since the inception of the Arts in the Parks last summer, we’ve had some very creative and thoughtful art-based programs in varied formats throughout our state park system.

One form of art that has not been well represented to date is hip hop.  Additionally, April is National Poetry Month.  To that end, Lake Whitney State Park is hosting an Arts in the Parks Socially Conscious Hip Hop Workshop at Lake Whitney State Park on Saturday, April 19th.  We have a group of 15 children from the South Dallas Cultural Center coming out to the park.  My understanding is that, for all of these children, this will be their first visit to any state park.  The children will be accompanied by chaperones, including poet KD Brown, who has been working with this group of children in coaching them to write appropriate hip hop lyrics.

In the morning, we will provide the children with some natural and cultural resource based interpretive and educational activities.  We will convey state park resource values, and we will provide an introduction to broader Texas conservation issues.  In the afternoon, Mr. Brown will be coaching the children in writing state park-and Texas conservation-based hip hop lyrics.  Depending on the comfort level of children, we hope they will have an opportunity to perform their poetry to each other at the end of the day.

We are excited to be able to host this event and to serve as ambassadors for a group of first-time state park visitors.  We are also proud that this will be the first program of its kind in our State Park System.

Our brothers and sisters at Brookshire’s of Whitney have generously agreed to contribute water and snacks for the children.  We are hoping that one of our Chamber members will contribute a lunch meal for the children plus the event facilitators.  If a member restaurant or a sponsor who would provide payment for to a Whitney restaurant could come through for us, we will be most grateful.  Again, we anticipate needing to feed 20 – 25 people.

We will mention the generosity of Brookshire’s of Whitney and any other generous event sponsors through our Facebook fan site (which has approximately 1,030 fans) and in the post event press release

Thank you in advance for considering.  I would look forward to responding to questions for any Chamber members who are considering helping us.  They could call me at the Park HQ or my cell at the numbers below.

 
Chris Bishop
Park Superintendent / State Park Police Officer
Lake Whitney State Park
P.O. Box 1175
Whitney, TX 76692
 
(254) 694-3793 OFFICE
(254) 205-8645 AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY LINE
(903) 286-8651 CELL
 
“Fall seven times.  Stand up eight.”  –Japanese proverb
 
 

 

Lake Whitney’s Stucker Receives Commission as a State Park Police Officer

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Region 5 Cadets from Meridian, Lake Arrowhead and Lake Whitney State Parks receive their State Park Police Officer commissions at the Bastrop State Park Refectory. Pictured here (from left to right) Regional Director Rodney Franklin, Regional Law Enforcement Coordinator Shawn Bengtson, Officer Erika Chaisson, Superintendent Adrian Smith, Superintendent Keith Gauthier, Officer Laramy Estel, Officer Luke Stucker, Superintendent Chris Bishop.

 

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –  Lake Whitney State Park’s Assistant Superintendent Luke Stucker was commissioned as a State Park Police Officer at the historic Bastrop State Park Refectory on Friday, March 7, 2014.

In order to receive his law enforcement commission, Stucker completed a five month Basic Police Officer Academy at McLennan Community College (MCC) in Waco followed by the seven week State Park Police Officer Academy at Bastrop State Park.  Stucker graduated as valedictorian of his Basic Police Officer Academy, and he was also selected by his peers as the recipient of MCC’s Spirit Award.  The Spirit Award is given to the cadet who shows greatest character, attitude and leadership aptitude.

Stucker joined Lake Whitney State Park’s staff in November 2012.  Prior to that, he worked at Mother Neff State Park in Texas and Cherry Creek State Park, an urban-interface state park in Colorado.

State Park Police Officers are conservation law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction.  State Park Police fulfill public safety and law enforcement functions at the 95 units of the State Parks Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  State Park Police enforce State Park Rules & Regulations, fish & game and boater safety laws, in addition to the Texas Penal Code, Transportation Code, Family Code, Alcoholic Beverages Code and Health & Safety Code.

According to Park Superintendent Chris Bishop, “We could not be more proud of Luke Stucker and his performance.  The training regimen to become a State Park Police Officer is a long and rigorous process.  The training is a significant investment, on the parts of both the agency and the officer.  Throughout the process, Luke engaged the training experience fully, and he represented himself, his family and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with distinction.”

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Chris Bishop, (254) 694-3793, email –christopher.bishop@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

Chris Bishop
Park Superintendent / State Park Police Officer
Lake Whitney State Park
P.O. Box 1175
Whitney, TX 76692
(254) 694-3793 OFFICE
(254) 205-8645 AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY LINE
(903) 286-8651 CELL
“Fall seven times.  Stand up eight.”  –Japanese proverb
 
 

Prescribed Burn Planned for Lake Whitney State Park

Prescribed Burn Planned for Lake Whitney State Park

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –  Park Superintendent Chris Bishop announced today that Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff plans to conduct a prescribed burn at Lake Whitney State Park sometime before the end of February.  The burn is expected to be conducted and completed in two to three days.

Prescribed burns are used as a management tool in state parks to improve habitat for wildlife by restoring forest and prairie habitats on the park that were historically maintained by natural fires.  They also are conducted to reduce the amount of available fuels, such as leaf litter, fallen branches, understory growth and dead trees that accumulate naturally and from storm events.  By reducing the amount of available fuels, prescribed burns reduce the chance for a potentially destructive wildfire to occur.

The park staff has already begun preparing for the upcoming burn by clearing vegetation and other fuels from the fire breaks established around the perimeter of each area that will be burned this year.  Fuels and vegetation also are cleared away from utility poles, structures, signs and sensitive resources to protect them during the prescribed burns.

Prescribed burns on state parks are conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel who have undergone training and met national wildland firefighting certification standards.  The park’s prescribed fire plan defines the conditions under which a prescribed burn may be conducted, taking into account wind speeds and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, and fuel moisture levels.  The plan also guides the fire crew members in managing burns to prevent them from escaping into adjacent properties and to minimize the effect of smoke in nearby residential areas.

Because specific weather conditions are required to conduct an effective and safe prescribed burn, TPWD staff cannot provide a specific date for the burn at this time.  However, local emergency management officials will be notified before the prescribed fire is implemented.  Bishop stated that during the burn, some areas of the park would be closed to the public.  During the burn there may be smoke that reduces visibility on neighboring roads and Bishop cautions travelers to reduce their speed and use their headlights when smoke is present.

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

          For more information regarding the planned burn or to request notification on the days when fires are ignited, please contact Chris Bishop, (254) 694-3793, email –christopher.bishop@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

Lake Whitney State Park

Lake Whitney State Park to Host Guided Nature Walk on January 18th

 

Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –Lake Whitney State Park is hosting a guided nature walk on January 18, 2014 from 10:00 until 11:30 a.m. on the Two Bridges Trail, next to the Recreation Hall.

The theme of the hike will be related to health.  The topics will include local flora and fauna that could potentially contribute to or take away from human health, managing natural resources for ecosystem health and a discussion of how state parks can contribute to physical fitness and wellness.

Hiking is the January 2014 Outdoor Activity of the Month in Texas State Parks.  According to Park Superintendent Chris Bishop, “Many of us begin each New Year with health and fitness related resolutions, and hiking is a great way for families to meet those resolutions together.  Studies have shown that hiking has a positive effect on weight management, decreasing hypertension and improving mental health.  In the words of Dr. Paul Dudley White, ‘A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.’”

Lake Whitney State Park offers two hiking trails, the 1.1-mile Towash Forest Trail and the .9-mile Two Bridges Trail.

Bishop advises that the State Parks Trails Improvement Program has agreed to support Lake Whitney State Park by developing additional recreational trails over the next two to three years.  Bishop estimates that the additions to the trail system will range between 2.5- and 6-miles of additional trails.

The guided hike is free for any participant who has a valid entrance permit for the day.  Entrance permits are available from Park Headquarters for $5.00 per person for everyone 13 or older.  Children 12 or under are free.  Entrance fees are also covered by a valid Texas State Parks Pass.

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Chris Bishop, (254) 694-3793, email –christopher.bishop@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.