Texan by Nature answered the call to help 7th Grade students at York Junior High School in Conroe implement a creative conservation project that is uniquely Texan. With the purchase of a GPS-enabled tracking collar, the students proposed to track the movements of a bison in the Texas State Bison Herd more then 500 miles away in Caprock Canyon State Park. Texan by Nature connected them to funding partners who helped make their project a reality.
Inspired by their initial experience, the students subsequently raised funds to purchase an unmanned aerial vehicle so park staff could track the herd across the 10,000+ rugged acres of Caprock Canyon State Park. These students have now been involved in conservation first-hand and played a direct role in the management of this unique herd, descended directly from bison first conserved by legendary Texas ranchers Charles and Mary Goodnight.
Students/Year –Next Generation Conservation Investors
Five hundred and fifty (550) students per year are now next generation conservation investors, who have developed real world skills including fund-raising, research, use of technology, advertising, and presentation skills while investing in Texan-led conservation.
The innovative use of technology makes Texas natural heritage and natural resources relevant and accessible to students despite distance.
Increase in Visitors to Park Increases Revenue
Conserves public funds for Caprock Canyon State Park by providing additional tools to enable more efficient natural resource management.
Increased awareness of the Texas State Bison Herd has contributed to a doubling in park visitors in three years, resulting in increased revenue.
Genetically Distinct Bison
Acres of Native Habitat for Bison to Freely Roam
The use of technology has enabled improved herd management of a genetically distinct bison that is significant to conservation efforts.
Drone information is utilized to determine areas of Caprock Canyon State Park in greatest need of habitat management and brush control.
“I think the most valuable lesson has been the one of empowerment. For the first time, for some of our students, their ideas, voices, and opinions are not only being heard, but put into practice. They are the voice of young Texas citizens who now are the owners and custodians of this treasured herd and are determined to shoulder the responsibility for its preservation.”
– Penny Adams, 7th Grade Teacher at York Jr. High